Surgery for Meralgia Paresthetica

20120114 111931 Surgery for Meralgia Paresthetica

Burning Thigh Pain

Surgery for Meralgia Paresthetica

Surgery for meralgia paresthetica? If your thigh is burning and won’t stop, sometimes it’s meralgia paresthetica and surgery is the right choice.

If it’s the outer thigh and you also have tingling sensations there then you may have meralgia parenthetic, a condition caused by compression and damage t0 the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN). Meralgia surgery is a possibility but it’s radical and, like all surgeries, risky. Before you start thinking about surgery, look around this site.

You’ll find everything you need, including a list of symptoms and 20 possible causes to help you zero in on what’s wrong. If it’s not meralgia, then you’re in luck. But if you think it is then there is much you can do to ease the symptoms while you wait for the condition to pass. Just look around the site. It’s the largest collection of information about meralgia paresthetica anywhere. We’re not selling anything (except the book, of course!) and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about the condition. Our email is all through the book, so drop us a line.

There’s an encouraging article about meralgia surgery that you should read. Fifteen cases of meralgia paresthetica were identified in 14 patients in a private surgical practice during a 4-year period. All patients were initially treated conservatively and seven patients subsequently underwent surgical treatment. Follow-up ranged from 3 to 6 years. Here’s the post-treatment breakdown:

  1. Conservative management consisting of local analgesics, steroids, nonsteroidal antiinflammatories, rest, and reduction or elimination of aggravating factors yielded long-lasting improvement in five patients with meralgia paresthetica.
  2. Nine patients with 10 cases of meralgia paresthetica did not benefit in the long term from conservative management.
  3. Seven of these patients, representing eight cases of meralgia paresthetica, ultimately opted for surgical management, and all obtained good long-term relief of symptoms.

It’s an interesting article. In other words, 100% of those desperate souls got full relief. So while you’re thinking about it, visit the rest of this site, download the book, and why not watch this video about post-surgical recovery from meralgia?



4 thoughts on “Surgery for Meralgia Paresthetica

  1. vivian raybourn

    I am not obese. I believe that the right hip bone in the groin splintered and trapped the nerve. I think my MP is from is caused from repetitive motion on a stepper, 1 hr a day 7 days a week. It has been 2 mths and the pain has shifted from outside thigh to groin, severe, to lower back. It is difficult to find a doctor that is familiar with MP and most don’t like suggestions. I thought this was an article about successful surgery. Is this possible, that I have MP?

    1. godfree Post author

      Very possible. How confident are you about your belief that your right hip bone in the groin splintered and trapped the nerve?

      Have you thought of seeing a neurologist?

  2. Jenny Depp

    I was diagnosed in September of 2013 with Meralgia Paresthetica. I have had a long history of pelvic pain and adhesions. I’ve had hysterectomy, appendectomy and numerous other abdominal surgery. I’ve tried medications such as Neurontin, that gave me terrible side effects and didn’t help much with the nerve pain. I’ve also had ultrasound guided injection/nerve block in the groin, four times in the past year. I had a terrible injury to my left leg approximately 25 years ago. I had a Tibial Plateau fracture, torn Mcl, Ldl and Pcl and torn meniscus. At the time I did not have knee surgery and went through a long course of Physical Therapy. My medical history also includes; Panhypopituitarism with adrenal gland insufficiency and Hypothyroidism. I’ve currently have had 8 months of PT and do numerous stretching and home PT. I am not obese and do not wear tight clothing. My doctors and Physical Therapist are at a loss and don’t know what to do next. I understand that surgery is a possibility to help with this pain, but do not know what this entails. I’m curious if my abdominal problems, thyroid or my past left knee injury would have anything to do with this terrible nerve pain.? I’m currently waiting for my doctor to call and tell me what I can do next! Still hopeful that my injection two weeks ago will last longer then 6 weeks! :(

    1. godfree Post author

      Here’s an excerpt from the book that might help. Incidentally, Dr. Ivins. the surgeon I quote in the book, is very helpful and will respond to questions about MP surgery:

      Gregory Ivins is a very experienced surgeon and an extremely helpful person. He works in the Department of Surgery, at Callaway Community Hospital in Fulton, Missouri. I recently referred a reader to him and Dr. Ivins went out of his way to advise the man about possible surgery outcomes. Here’s Dr. Ivins’ account of surgeries he performed to relieve the pain of 7 people with acute, chronic meralgia paresthetica:

      Fifteen cases of Meralgia paresthetica were identified in 14 patients. The LFCN was affected unilaterally in 13 patients and bilaterally in 1 patient. Involvement of the LFCN was confirmed in each instance by injecting a small amount of bupivacaine with epinephrine around the LFCN where it passed near the anterior superior iliac spine. The accuracy of the injection was confirmed by obtaining anterolateral thigh paresthesia, and in each case the symptoms were completely relieved for several hours.

      On follow-up visits, the patients were given a second injection in the same area using a mixture of bupivacaine and methylprednisolone, and they again obtained complete relief. Five patients had no further symptoms in follow-up ranging from 28 to 60 months. Nine patients had recurrence of their symptoms 2 to 4 weeks after the second injection. These patients were typically injected a third time to ensure that the results were reproducible. These patients also underwent computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging examinations of the lower back and pelvis to rule out discogenic disease or other pathology.

      Seven patients in this group subsequently opted for surgical treatment of their Meralgia paresthetica.

      Results of Surgery
      Between 1992 and 1996, four women and three men underwent surgery for Meralgia paresthetica. Symptoms had been present from 2 to 15 years. Three of the patients had a total of five previous operations performed elsewhere, but none of the operations resulted in relief. These operations included femoral head core decompression, groin exploration, iliotibial Z-plasty, and ilioinguinal nerve resection.

      Patients frequently could not stand to wear tight clothing or carry keys in the pocket of the affected side. One patient with an above-knee amputation could not wear his prosthesis because of the thigh dysesthesia. In addition, three patients also had lower lateral leg pain on the affected side (Fig. 1C). This lower leg pain was perceived by the patients as being related to but distinct from the thigh dysesthesias. All of these symptoms were relieved after resection (surgical removal of all or part of of the LFC Nerve).

      Considering the preceding reports as well as observations from the present series, it appears that Meralgia paresthetica patients who have failed to respond to conservative management can be considered in three subsets:


What's your experience with Meralgia?