Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve

The Lateral Femoral Cutaneous nerve is a direct branch of the lumbar plexus. It runs obliquely toward the anterior superior iliac spine and then passes deep to the inguinal ligament into the thigh, dividing into anterior and posterior branches. This nerve supplies the skin on the lateral and anterior parts of the thigh as well as the skin from the level of the greater trochanter to the middle of the area just proximal to the knee.

The close relationship of the lateral femoral nerve to the anterior superior iliac spine, inguinal ligament, muscular lacunae and a pendulous abdominal wall subject it to possible compression and a condition referred to as meralgia parasthetica.

A mononeuropathy of a cutaneous nerve can cause a patch of sensory disturbance such as pain, paresthesia, or dyesthesia. The most common example of a cutaneous neuropathy of the lower extremity is meralgia paresthesia. The pain and paresthesia occur at the anterolateral aspect of the thigh and are caused by compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve as it emerges from beneath the inguinal ligament to enter the thigh. Rapid weight gain or loss, tight belts, and prolonged periods of hip flexion are common aggravating factors.