Meralgia paresthetica or Meralgia paraesthetica is numbness or pain in the outer thigh not caused by injury to the thigh, but by injury to a nerve that extends from the thigh to the spinal column. This chronic neurological disorder involves a single nerve—the lateral cutaneous nerve of thigh, which is also called the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (and hence the syndrome lateral femoral cutaneous neuropathy).
Pain on the outer side of the thigh, occasionally extending to the outer side of the knee, usually constant following: A burning sensation, tingling, or numbness in the same area, Multiple bee-sting like pains in the affected area, Occasionally, aching in the groin area or pain spreading across the buttocks. and the inguinal ligament near the attachment at the anterior superior iliac spine (the upper point of the hip bone).
Diagnosis is largely based on patient description and relevant details about recent surgeries, hip injuries, or repetitive activities that could irritate the nerve. Examination checks for sensory differences between the affected leg and the other leg. Accurate diagnosis may require an abdominal and pelvic examination to exclude problems in those areas. Electromyographic (EMG) nerve-conduction studies may be required. X-rays may be needed to exclude bone abnormalities that might put pressure on the nerve; likewise CT.
Paresthesia constitutes 35% of presenting complaints in patients with hyperventilation syndrome and may begin after as little as threeminute of hyperventilation. Patients in general complain of burning, creeps or pinpricking in anterolateral thigh, in the absence of low back pain, weakness or reflex changes. Symptoms are in general unilateral although 20% of patients present with bilateral symptoms15. In our case, symptoms were unilateral, in line with most cases reported in the literature.