Meralgia Paresthetica Specialist

Anthony Echo, MD -  - Plastic Surgeon

Anthony Echo, MD

Plastic Surgeon & Reconstructive Surgeon located in Houston, TX

Meralgia paresthetica results from compression of the nerve that supplies sensation to the skin in your upper thigh. Meralgia paresthetica may develop from many causes and symptoms usually resolve within a few months. Experienced plastic and peripheral nerve surgeon, Anthony Echo, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of meralgia paresthetica. To schedule an evaluation, call the office in Houston Methodist Hospital or the Willowbrook neighborhood of Houston, Texas, or request an appointment through the online booking tool.

Meralgia Paresthetica Q&A

What is meralgia paresthetica?

Meralgia paresthetica develops from compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which is a large sensory nerve that provides feeling to the front of your thigh. 

The nerve compression may affect anyone, but you may be at greater risk of developing meralgia paresthetica if you:

  • Have diabetes
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are pregnant
  • Suffered a seatbelt injury during a car accident
  • Are recovering from surgery

Wearing tight clothing may also cause compression of the nerve.

What are the symptoms of meralgia paresthetica?

Symptoms of meralgia paresthetica affect the skin covering the front of your thigh. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain and numbness on the anterior lateral (front and outer area) thigh
  • Pain at the anterior hip
  • Burning, aching, or tingling sensation
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Walking or standing for long periods of time worsens the sensation

With meralgia paresthetica, you may also notice that your symptoms worsen when you wear clothing or belts that tighten or press on your waist. 

How is meralgia paresthetica diagnosed?

Dr. Echo performs thorough clinical exams to diagnose meralgia paresthetica. During the exam, he asks detailed questions about your symptoms, including when they started, the types of pain you experience, and activities that worsen your symptoms.

He also reviews your medical and surgical history and conducts a physical exam, paying close attention to the leg responsible for your symptoms. 

Dr. Echo diagnoses meralgia paresthetica if you have pain at the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) or numbness and pain in the anterior lateral thigh. 

How is meralgia paresthetica treated?

Dr. Echo develops individualized treatment plans for the management of meralgia paresthetica based on the underlying cause of the nerve condition and the severity of your symptoms.

Initially, he takes a conservative approach that may include medications or corticosteroid injections. In most cases, meralgia paresthetica resolves within a few months.

However, if your symptoms fail to improve after conservative treatments, Dr. Echo recommends surgery. During surgery, he makes an incision at the crease of your groin just below your inguinal ligament and ASIS. He then partially divides the ligament to release the nerve. 

For the management of meralgia paresthetica, call Anthony Echo, MD, or book a consultation using the online scheduling tool.