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Meralgia Paraesthetica is the medical term for a benign condition where there is a painful patch of numbness on the side of the thigh. The picture on the right and below shows the area normally affected although this can vary from person to person.
The area shaded in red
is typical of
Meralgia Paraesthetica is a common problem due to a trapped nerve called the lateral cutaneous nerve of thigh. It usually gets trapped in the groin.
•Patients with meralgia paraesthetica normally notice a painful patch of numbness on their outside (lateral) thigh which they can draw around with their finger. They may feel pins and needles in this area. It can be very uncomfortable
•Meralgia paraesthetica does not cause any other symptoms in the legs
•The commonest cause is recent weight gain or pregnancy. Clothing that is tight around the groin like skinny jeans can be an issue
•The diagnosis is made solely on the typical story and the location of the numbness
•No further tests are required
•Most patients do not need any further treatment
•If your pain is bad enough that you would like to take a painkiller for it then there are tablet treatments that can be recommended by your doctor.
•Meralgia paraesthetica symptoms can persist for for months or even years but usually they do settle by themselves in time
*picture adapted by permission from Medical Research Council Aids to Examination of Nervous system 1976