Meralgia Paresthetica

Meralgia paresthetica is a disorder characterized by tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the outer side of the thigh.

Contents

Signs and Symptoms

People with the disorder frequently report that it appears or worsens after walking or standing. The skin is often sensitive to touch. Meralgia paresthetica is associated with clothing that is too tight, pregnancy, diabetes, and obesity.

Causes

The disorder is caused by compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve as it exits the pelvis.

Treatment

Treatment for meralgia paresthetica is symptomatic and supportive and usually involves wearing looser clothing, weight reduction, and avoiding prolonged standing or walking. Gabapentin and other medications may alleviate symptoms. In very few cases in which pain is persistent or severe, surgical intervention may be indicated. In some cases, the disorder may spontaneously disappear.

Chances of Developing Meralgia Paresthetica

It more commonly occurs in men than women, and is generally found in middle-aged or overweight individuals.

Clinical Trials

Select this link to view a list of studies currently seeking patients.

Research

Within the NINDS research programs, meralgia paresthetica is addressed primarily through studies associated with pain research. NINDS vigorously pursues a research program seeking new treatments for pain and nerve damage with the ultimate goal of reversing these debilitating conditions.

Expected Outcome

Meralgia paresthetica usually eases or disappears after treatment. Surgical intervention is not always fully successful.

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