Meralgia paresthetica is a nerve entrapment syndrome that can cause burning discomfort, numbness and tingling along the outer side of the front of the thigh. It occurs when the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN), which supplies sensation to the skin over the thigh, is compressed or trapped as it travels along the front of the pelvis.Contact Us +44 (0)208 004 6659
Meralgia paresthetica is more common in women than men, with the incidence increasing significantly after the age of 50.
Risk factors for developing meralgia paresthetica include:
The primary symptoms of meralgia paresthetica include:
A burning or aching sensation along the outer side of the thigh, often worse with activity.
A loss of sensation or a feeling of pins and needles along the outer side of the thigh.
A prickling or tingling sensation along the outer side of the thigh.
Increased sensitivity to touch along the outer side of the thigh.
Diagnosis of meralgia paresthetica typically involves a physical examination, medical history review, and sometimes imaging tests.
Treatment for meralgia paresthetica focuses on managing symptoms, relieving nerve compression, and preventing recurrence.
Corticosteroid injections can be a highly effective way of reducing inflammation and pain as a result of LFC nerve irritation with meralgia paresthetica. At The Joint Injection Clinic, corticosteroid injections are performed after a thorough consent process, whereby the risk and benefits of the procedure are discussed in detail with your doctor. The experienced medical doctor will then place you in a lying position, face up on the couch. The skin is cleaned using a cleaning solution to ensure that the procedure is performed under sterile conditions. The LFC nerve injection is performed with a small dose of steroid, targeting the area surrounding the nerve (perineural tissue), being careful to avoid injecting into the nerve itself.
The injection itself is normally completed within 30-60 seconds, after which a plaster is applied and post-injection advice is given. The patient is advised to look out for any signs of infection, specifically to check whether the local area becomes red, hot, tender, swollen or if they develop a fever. If this occurs then the patient is asked to contact the clinic immediately at which time a formal reassessment will occur and if needed oral antibiotics can be prescribed. The patient is also warned that following any injection they may notice a short-term worsening or flare in their symptoms after the local anaesthetic has worn off (4-5 hours). This may last for 3-5 days and the patient is advised to consider icing of the area using an ice pack for 10-15 minutes every hour as required. has worn off (4-5 hours). This may last for 3-5 days and the patient is advised to consider icing of the area using an ice pack for 10-15 minutes every hour as required.
If non-surgical treatments fail to provide adequate relief, surgery may be considered. Surgical intervention for meralgia paresthetica typically involves decompression of the LFCN, which involves releasing the compressed nerve and allowing it to move freely.
Additional tips for managing meralgia paresthetica pain: