Meralgia Paresthetica

Jacob Patijn, Nagy Mekhail, Salim Hayek, Arno Lataster, Maarten van Kleef, Jan Van Zundert
Pain Practice: the Official Journal of World Institute of Pain 2011, 11 (3): 302-8
Meralgia paresthetica (MP) is a neurological disorder of the nervus cutaneous femoris lateralis (lateral femoral cutaneous nerve) (LFCN) characterized by a localized area of paresthesia and numbness on the anterolateral aspect of the thigh. Medical history and neurological examination are essential in making the diagnosis. However, red flags such as tumor and lumbar disc herniations must be ruled out. While the diagnosis of MP is essentially a clinical diagnosis, sensory nerve conduction velocity studies are a useful additional diagnostic tool.The first choice in management of MP is, besides treating the underlying cause, always a conservative approach. Simple measures such as losing weight and not wearing tight belts and ⁄ or trousers can be advised. Pharmacological therapy consists mainly of antineuropathic medication.Anatomical variants of the LFCN occur in a quarter of patients and may be the reason for negative response to diagnostic blocks. For interventional treatment of MP, such as local injection with anesthetics and corticosteroids or pulsed radiofrequency treatment of the LFCN, the evidence is limited. In particular, pulsed radiofrequency treatment of the LFCN should only take place in a study context.

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