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Definition of Meralgia paresthetica

Meralgia paresthetica: Entrapment or pinching of the nerve that supplies sensation to the outer portion of the thigh. The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve becomes entrapped as it passes under the ligament of the groin. The pressure on the nerve causes burning, pain, and numbness over the distribution of this nerve, the outer and part of the front of the thigh.

Meralgia paresthetica is usually associated with enlargement of the belly, such as in obesity or in pregnancy. Treatment involves addressing the underlying cause. Meralgia paresthetica can also be treated by local cortisone injection at the point where the nerve crosses the crease in the groin. Infrequently, surgical release of the nerve is necessary.

Meralgia paresthetica is also known as lateral femoral cutaneous nerve syndrome.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=39983
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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