Meralgia Paresthetica: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment


Meralgia paresthetica is also termed as  Bernhardt-Roth syndrome. The condition causes numbness or pain in the outer part of the thighs. The pain is not a result of any wounds or injury but an injury to the nerve that connects the spinal cord to the thighs.

Basically, it is the compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve that caters sensation to the surface  of your thighs. The nerve becomes caught or trapped under the inguinal ligament that goes from your groin to abdomen and to the upper thigh. And the condition does not affect your ability to move your leg muscles.

The neurological condition is commonly found in pregnant women as it is natural for them to gain weight during the period. In their case, the condition diminishes after childbirth. It is not serious and goes away in a period of a few months or through adopting measures such as using loose fitting clothes. In severe cases, the individual will need to undergo  treatments and medication. Although rare, surgery might be advised in some cases.

The burning sensation in the skin on your outer thigh shows various signs. The symptoms can worsen after walking or standing for a longer period  of time.

The symptoms are

The suppression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is the result of the nerve being trapped, compressed or pinched. The sensory nerve becomes unable to function properly when there is trauma, swelling or a lot of applied pressure  on the area.

Meralgia paresthetica can be caused due to

Individuals who fall under the following factors are prone towards developing the neurological condition.

You are likely to develop meralgia paresthetica if you

In order to carry out the identification of the problem, the doctor will examine your medical history and conduct a  physical examination. The doctor will ask you questions about your lifestyle and work life, so as to analyse all the possible causes.

The doctor will test the sensation on your thighs, so as to detect any pain and numbness. By touching the thighs and the lower part of your leg, the doctor will try to analyse  if there are any neurological abnormalities. The physical examination will help the doctor in finding the difference between the affected leg and the other leg.

Under this method, the doctor will conduct an X-ray or an MRI  to develop images of your pelvis and hip. Although meralgia paresthetica will not be visible in an X-ray image, the doctor will use it to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms.

This diagnosis method will make use of patch-style electrodes  which will be placed on your skin so as to stimulate the nerves with electrical impulses that are mild. The study will help in finding out the damaged nerves.

Under this test, the electrical discharges made in your muscles will be measured. This is done so as to help the evaluation and diagnosing of the nerve and muscle  disorders. Electromyography is conducted by placing a thin needle into the muscle, which will aid in recording the electrical activity.

In this diagnosis method, an anaesthetic will be injected into your thigh, where the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is located at. This will help in getting immediate pain relief , which will help the doctor diagnose that you have meralgia paresthetica. The relief will last for a period of 30 to 40 minutes.

In the case of most individuals, the symptoms of the neurological condition reduce in a span of a few months. In the severe conditions where the symptoms last for more than two months, the individual will be advised to adopt medications.

These will help in reducing the levels of inflammation and pain. The pain reduction will be temporary, however. The injections may cause possible  side effects such as nerve damage, joint infection, pain, whitening of skin around where the needle was inserted.

These medications also help relieve the pain. It also has potential side effects such as dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, drowsiness and constipation.

In rare cases, it is required to decompress the damaged nerve. Surgery is the option in this case and it is only required for people suffering from long-term and severe  symptoms. On carrying out the surgery, the nerve damage will be repaired, thereby providing relief from the pain.

Some of the other medications of treatment include anti-seizure medicines such as gabapentin, phenytoin and pregabalin. These will also help in reducing the pain but may cause nausea, dizziness, constipation, and drowsiness.

This is beneficial in the case of individuals who do not suffer from severe and constant painful symptoms. The home remedies  can be adopted so as to remove the factors that cause nerve compressing.

The home remedies include

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