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March 14, 1977

Meralgia Paraesthetica: An Unusual Case

JAMA. 1977;237(11):1125-1126. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270380069026

THE SYNDROME of burning, tingling, and numbness of the anterolateral thigh was described by Bernhardt1 in 1895. It was named meralgia paraesthetica the same year.

Many causes for this syndrome involving the distribution of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve of the thigh have been suggested. It has been implied that it can be caused by intrapelvic disease, herpes zoster, and a congenitally tight foramen where the nerve passes through the inguinal ligament just medial to the anterior superior iliac portion of the spine. It has also been associated with osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine and herniated disk on the opposite side, the symptom secondary to muscle spasm. Most often, it is caused from various kinds of trauma secondary to mechanical causes.

Mechanical causes were suggested by Stookey2 in 1928. He was impressed by the accentuation of the symptoms when patients stood or walked and the relief of symptoms