Neurological Disorders: Femoral Neuropathy

Introduction

Femoral Neuropathy is the term used for any damage, injury or pathology of the femoral nerve.

This nerve originates from the lumbar plexus. Its spinal roots include L2, L3 & L4. The nerve passes through the pelvis in close association with psoas muscle and then enters the thigh region to supply the thigh muscles.

The following muscles are supplied by femoral nerve;

• Quadricepf femoris
• Iliopsoas
• Pectineus
• Sartorius

What cause femoral nerve damage?

Some common causes include;

• Vaginal delivery
• Pelvic surgeries
• Hematoma in the pelvic region (retroperitoneal hematoma)
• Mass or growths in the pelvic region
• Fracture and or dislocation involving the hip/femur bone
• Medical interventions in the thigh area
• Diabetes mellitus etc

What are the clinical manifestations?

• Weakness of the thigh flexion
• Weakness of knee extension
• Decreased or absent patellar reflex
• Sensory loss along the medial aspect of the leg
• Numb feeling and/or tingling (pins and needles) in the above area of leg

Diagnosis

The following investigations are usually necessary;

• EMG/NCS (electromyography & nerve conduction study)
• CT or MRI of pelvis

Treatment

There is no curative treatment for this condition. Patients may recover completely, near completely or partially depending upon its cause. The following conservative & supportive therapy is tried;

• Physical therapy
• Leg braces
• Nerve pain pills like gabapentin, pregabalin, duloxetine etc

A neurologist is frequently involved in the care of patients with ths neuropathy.



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