What You Need to Know: Meralgia Paresthetica
The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is responsible for feeling in your outer upper thigh. When this nerve becomes compressed, damaged, or stretched, you may experience meralgia paresthetica. Fortunately, it doesn’t affect your mobility. However, if it worsens over time, it could indicate a more serious underlying condition.
Lifestyle choices and other factors affect the severity of meralgia paresthetica. Wearing tight clothes, weight gain, pregnancy, and diabetes may all contribute to the symptoms associated with meralgia paresthetica. The inguinal ligament compresses the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in the groin area bringing on this condition.
The Symptoms of Meralgia Paresthetica
Meralgia paresthetica symptoms include tingling and numbness on the upper outside thigh, usually on one side of the body. Other signs include sensitivity to pain and light touch. Some clients also have pain associated with the condition.
These symptoms may get worse as the condition progresses. Eventually, you could feel a sharp, shooting pain. This sensation often returns and goes away without warning.
Dr. Lewis is the owner and president of Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic in Flowood, MS. He is a dedicated and highly regarded neurosurgeon at one of the most successful clinics in the Southeast. For the best outcome, make an appointment to discuss your symptoms with Dr. Lewis before your meralgia paresthetica conditions become more serious.
Meralgia Paresthetica Diagnosis
Your road to recovery starts with a proper diagnosis. By conducting a thorough examination, we can help you determine the cause of your meralgia paresthetica. This enables us to recommend the least invasive treatment options available.
The diagnosis process consists of the following steps:
- Documentation of medical history
- A neurological exam
- MRI or other imaging technology
- Electrodiagnostic studies (EMG)
- Diagnostic nerve blocks can treat pain and help diagnose the source of the pain
Going through tests and visiting the doctor causes anxiety for some clients. We do our best to put you at ease. That includes answering any questions that come up regarding your treatment.
Treatment Methods for Meralgia Paresthetica
With proper treatment, the symptoms may abate in a few months. Meralgia paresthetica treatment centers on relieving nerve compression. We may start by suggesting lifestyle changes such as the following:
- Wearing loose clothing
- Losing weight
- Using over-the-counter medication to relieve pain
For more persistent symptoms that last longer than two months or in cases where you have severe pain, we may suggest the following treatments:
- Corticosteroid injections: Corticosteroids can reduce inflammation and temporarily alleviate pain. Risk associated with this injection include nerve damage, joint infection, and skin discoloration around the injection site.
- Tricyclic antidepressants: Although these medications are designed to relieve depression, they can also help reduce pain associated with meralgia paresthetica. Side effects include dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, and compromised sexual functioning.
- Anti-seizure medication such as Lyrica, Gralise, Neurontin, or Dilantin: These medications can decrease the severity of pain but also have side effects such as lightheadedness, nausea, constipation, drowsiness, and dizziness.
- Surgery: Surgery is considered a last resort and is designed to relieve pressure on the nerve causing meralgia paresthetica pain. Typically, we only recommend this when clients face severe, debilitating pain that does not subside.
Meralgia Paresthetica Treatment at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, come to the Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic for a consultation. We will work toward providing a prompt diagnosis for your peace of mind and suggest a treatment plan to resolve the issue and to make you more comfortable.
Call (601) 366-1011 to request the soonest available appointment to diagnose meralgia paresthetica and related conditions. We’ll find a solution that works for you.