This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Meralgia paresthetica is a condition characterized by numbness, tingling, and a burning pain in the outer thigh. Symptoms may worsen after walking or standing. The condition usually affects only one side of the body, but both sides may be affected in up to 20% of cases. Meralgia paresthetica is caused by compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, a sensory nerve to the skin on the outer thigh. Compression may be associated with various causes such as wearing tight clothing or a heavy tool belt, diabetes, nerve injury during local or regional surgery, weight gain, pregnancy, seatbelt injury, or rarely, a mass pressing on the nerve. Treatment is based on the symptoms and severity in each person. Treatment for mild symptoms may include removing the cause of nerve compression, which may involve weight loss or wearing loose clothing. More severe pain may require a nerve block to temporarily relieve symptoms. Neurogenic pain medications (such as carbamazepine or gabapentin) typically are not as helpful but rarely relieve symptoms. People with very severe pain which is not relieved by nerve block may need to have surgery to release the nerve.
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