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Meralgia paresthetica in Adult
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Meralgia paresthetica in Adult

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Contributors: Carolyn Zyloney MD, Christine Osborne MD, Jamie Adams MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
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Synopsis

Meralgia paresthetica is also known as lateral femoral cutaneous neuropathy and is characterized by paresthesias, numbness, dysesthesia, and occasionally pain in the anterolateral thigh. Symptoms are often exacerbated by standing or walking and are relieved by sitting. As the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve does not have any motor component, there is no weakness associated with this condition. Meralgia paresthetica has an incidence of 3:10 000 patients and is most common in middle-aged adults but can occur in all age groups.

Compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve typically occurs where it enters the leg near the inguinal ligament. It is usually unilateral, but up to 20% of patients can develop bilateral meralgia paresthetica. Most cases are idiopathic. Damage to the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve can also occur as a result of trauma or surgical procedures. Patients with diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, alcohol use disorder, leprosy, or a history of lead poisoning have a higher risk for developing meralgia paresthetica. This condition can be exacerbated in patients who wear tight-fitting pants, belts, or corsets, have had recent weight gain, or are pregnant.

Treatment often involves avoiding wearing tight-fitting clothing and losing weight, with resolution of symptoms, although some patients are left with permanent paresthesias in the affected area.

For information on the familial type, see OMIM.

Codes

ICD10CM:
G57.10 – Meralgia paresthetica, unspecified lower limb

SNOMEDCT:
85007004 – Meralgia paresthetica

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Last Reviewed: 02/27/2019
Last Updated: 03/05/2019
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Meralgia paresthetica in Adult
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