Podcast 921: Meralgia Paresthetica - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 921: Meralgia Paresthetica

Contributor: Aaron Lessen, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Lateral Cutaneous Femoral Nerve Entrapment Syndrome, also known as Meralgia Paresthetica, results from entrapment of the lateral cutaneous femoral nerve, often as it exits the pelvis under the inguinal ligament. 
  • Meralgia Paresthetica is associated with obesity, pregnancy, compression from clothing or belts and diabetes.
  • Symptoms include numbness, paresthesia and pain of the proximal lateral thigh. Signs or symptoms of radiculopathy such as weakness, loss of reflexes or severe back pain should not be present.
  • Diagnosis is clinical and does not require further imaging if there are no additional or concerning findings. 
  • Meralgia Paresthetica typically resolves over time without intervention; however patients should be counseled on weight loss, diabetes control and avoidance of compressive clothing as relieving factors.   


Solomons JNT, Sagir A, Yazdi C. Meralgia Paresthetica. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2022;26(7):525-531. doi:10.1007/s11916-022-01053-7

Grossman MG, Ducey SA, Nadler SS, Levy AS. Meralgia paresthetica: diagnosis and treatment. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2001;9(5):336-344. doi:10.5435/00124635-200109000-00007

Image from my.clevelandclinic.org


Summarized by Kirsten Hughes, MS4 | Edited by John Spartz, MD & Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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