Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Femoral Neuropathy

Femoral Neuropathy

Femoral Neuropathy is a disease of the femoral nerve, a very large nerve in the leg.  This nerve controls the quadriceps muscle and causes difficulty in walking.  The nerve can be damaged by compression, trauma or metabolic causes.  The motor portion of the femoral nerve governs knee extension and hip flexion.  The sensory portion of the femoral nerve governs the inside portion of the thigh and calf.  The pain of femoral neuropathy may be described as “burning” and can be moderate to severe in intensity.  Femoral Neuropathy can be caused by compression inside the pelvis from tumors or hemorrhage.  Compression can occur outside the pelvis as well.  Diabetes Mellitus is a common cause of femoral neuropathy as well as to damage of other nerves in the body.  Patients with femoral neuropathy have difficulty walking up stairs and complain of pain on the inside of the leg.  On physical exam there may be weakness and muscle wasting of the quadriceps.  There may be sensory loss and tingling or pain in the distribution of the femoral nerve.  Diagnosis is made by history and physical exam.  CT scans or MRI scans can look for tumors in the pelvis.  Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction studies (NCV) can be used to determine the exact site of nerve injury.  It may be difficult to distinguish femoral neuropathy from injury to the L4 nerve root of the spine and these studies can help to determine the exact cause.  Treatment of Femoral Neuropathy depends on the site and cause of the problem.  Tumors of the pelvis may need to be surgically removed.  Damage from diabetes should be address with better control of blood glucose.  Physical therapy can be used to strengthen weak muscles.  Pain and tingling can be treated with anti-convulsants such as Gabapentin or Pregabalin.  Anti-depressants such as Amitriptyline and Nortriptyline and newer agents such as Cymbalta are effective in treating this type of neuropathic pain.

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