Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Femoral Neuropathy Overview

What is femoral neuropathy?
A person with femoral neuropathy has a loss of sensation or movement in the leg due to peripheral nerve damage. A femoral neuropathy may result from trauma, compression, stretch injury, or decreased blood flow to the femoral nerve. Femoral nerve compression may occur due to a mass within the pelvis (tumor) or a collection of blood (retroperitoneal hematoma). Diabetic patients often develop femoral neuropathy, but this is thought to be due to vasculitis (inflammation in the smaller blood vessels that supply the femoral nerve). A common type of sensory femoral neuropathy is called lateral femoral cutaneous nerve syndrome.

What are the symptoms of femoral neuropathy?
A femoral neuropathy causes weakness mainly in the quadriceps (thigh) muscles, making walking difficult. The symptoms of femoral neuropathy include numbness or tingling in the knee, thigh, or calf. Other symptoms include weakness of the knee or leg, and difficulty going down stairs. Patients often complain of "knee buckling" or the knee giving out. Falls are common. Some forms of femoral neuropathy may cause severe pain in the lower abdomen, groin, and thigh. In most cases, the pain is located in the groin and upper thigh. There may be muscle wasting in the affected quadriceps muscle.

How does the doctor treat femoral neuropathy?
The treatment of femoral neuropathy depends on the underlying cause for the nerve dysfunction. Treatment often includes pain medications and physical therapy. If nerve compression is due to a tumor, then therapy may include surgery and-or chemotherapy. Medications may include pregabalin (Lyrica), gabapentin (Neurontin), amitriptyline (Elavil), and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

Continue to Femoral Neuropathy Symptoms

Last Updated: Sep 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Femoral Neuropathy References
  1. Hernandez Castrillo A, de Diego Rodriguez E, Rado Velazquez MA, Lanzas Prieto JM, Galindo Palazuelos M, Terrazas Hontanon JM. [Bilateral femoral neuropathy after prostatectomy. Case report and bibliographic review]. Arch Esp Urol. 2008 Oct;61(8):929-32. [19040163]
  2. Pastor Guzman JM, Pastor Navarro H, Donate Moreno MJ, Pardal Fernandez JM, Carrion Lapez P, Salinas Sanchez A, Virseda Rodriguez JA. [Femoral neuropathy in urological surgery]. Actas Urol Esp. 2007 Sep;31(8):885-94. [18020214]
  3. Thoms RJ, Kondrashov D, Silber J. Iatrogenic femoral nerve palsy masquerading as knee extensor mechanism rupture. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2009 Mar;38(3):142-4. [19377648]
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