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Meralgia Paresthetica

Meralgia paresthetica, also called Bernhardt-Roth syndrome, can be an irritating condition that affects the thigh due to the compression or pinching of the sensory nerve that supplies sensation to the skin surface of your thigh.

Tight clothing, obesity or weight gain, pregnancy, repetitive motion of the legs or recent injuries to the hip are common causes of meralgia paresthetica. However, it can also be due to local trauma or a disease, such as diabetes, so it is important to consult a peripheral nerve specialist.

Symptoms of Meralgia Paresthetica

Pressure on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which supplies sensation to your upper thigh, may cause these symptoms of meralgia paresthetica, including:

  • Tingling or numbness in the outer (lateral) part of your thigh
  • Burning pain in or on the surface of the outer part of your thigh
  • Sensitivity to touch

These symptoms commonly occur only on one side of your body and may intensify after walking or standing.

Meralgia Paresthetica Treatment

For the accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for meralgia paresthetica, it is important to meet with a specialist that is specifically trained in peripheral nerve conditions. Our specialists at Neurosurgery & Spine Associates provide treatment of meralgia paresthetica. Generally treated with conservative measures that are effective for most people, pain is usually gone within a few months. Some of the ways to improve the symptoms of meralgia paresthetica include:

  • Wear looser clothing
  • Lose weight
  • Take pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or aspirin
  • Medication management

If symptoms persist for more than two months or your pain is severe, treatment may include:

  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and temporarily relieve pain 
  • Tricyclic antidepressants 
  • Anti-seizure medications such as Gabapentin (Neurontin), phenytoin (Dilantin) or pregabalin (Lyrica) which may help lessen painful symptoms 

In rare cases, surgery to decompress the nerve is considered as an option only for those with severe and long-lasting symptoms.

Make an Appointment with Our Peripheral Nerve Specialists

For more information about meralgia paresthetica or other peripheral nerve conditions, please call 678-312-2700 to speak with our team at Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. If you would rather, please complete our convenient online form and our expert staff will contact you.

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