What is meralgia paraesthetica?
Meralgia paraesthetica is a painful disorder of a skin nerve on the outside of the upper leg due to damage and/or loss of function in this nerve.
Meralgia paraesthetica can have many different causes, which are divided into two main groups: disorders occurring spontaneously and those caused by surgery. Spontaneous meralgia paraesthetica occurs when no previous surgery has taken place. The cause is usually unknown. Although spontaneous occurrence of this disorder is seen in all ages, it is most commonly seen between the ages of 30 and 40 and is more frequent in men. Other causes are obesity, diabetes and pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms in meralgia paraesthetica usually consist of an unpleasant tingling sensation on the outside of the thigh. In most cases it is felt just on one side. Patients complain of a characteristic burning, stabbing pain with a tingling sensation in the thigh. They usually feel the pain in the skin itself. Although pain elicited by touch is sometimes reported, most patients describe an unpleasant change of sensation rather than pain. Symptoms can be brought on by stretching the hip backwards, by posture in general and by prolonged standing. Sitting sometimes relieves the symptoms.
How is meralgia paraesthetica diagnosed?
The diagnosis can be made based on the symptoms and by exclusion of other causes. A neurological examination must always take place.
Do I need additional examinations?
- Diagnostic examination for other non-physical factors important for your pain, have already been done by yourself trough filling out your pain questionnaires.
- A diagnostic test block of the skin nerve can confirm the diagnosis.
What are my treatment possibilities?
Depending on the cause of your pain, your pain specialist will decide whether or not to embark on physical treatment. Based on the results of the completed pain questionnaire, additional examinations can be carried out and, apart from physical treatment, other methods of treatment will be suggested.
If the results of your pain questionnaire are abnormal, your pain specialist will offer you one of the non-physical treatments listed below:
- Psychological Treatment
- Depression Treatment
- Cognitive-Behavioural Treatment
- Rehabilitation Treatment
Interventional Pain Treatments