Burning Thigh Pain

A painful, burning sensation on the outer side of the thigh might mean that one of the large sensory nerves to your legs-- the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN)-- is being compressed. This condition is known as meralgia paresthetica (me-ral'- gee-a par-es-thet'- i-ka). If you think you may struggle with this orthopedic condition, Audrain Orthopaedics is here for the folks of Mexico, Missouri and all throughout Audrain County.

The nerves in your body bring information to the brain about the environment (sensory nerves) and communications from the brain to stimulate muscles (motor nerves). To do this, nerves have to pass over, beneath, about, and through your joints, bones, and muscles. Typically, there is sufficient room to permit very easy passage.

For people in Mexico, Missouri with meralgia paresthetica, swelling, trauma, or stress can narrow these openings and pinch the nerve. When this takes place, pain, paralysis, or other malfunction might result.


  • Pain on the outer side of the thigh, periodically extending to the outer side of the knee
  • A burning sensation, tingling, or numbness within the same area
  • Periodically, aching in the groin area or pain dispersing across the buttocks
  • Normally only on one side of the body
  • Normally more sensitive to light touch than to firm pressure

Doctor Examination

central missouri Hip Sprain Internal Derangement of Knee Knee Dislocation Meniscal Tear mid moDuring the Central Missouri orthopedic appointment, your health care provider will ask about recent surgical treatments, injury to the hip, or repetitive activities that could irritate the nerves.

If your doctor suspects meralgia paresthetica, she or he will ask questions to help figure out what might be taxing the nerve.

Restrictive garments and excess weight gain are two of the more typical causes of pressure. Your doctor might ask if you consistently wear tight stockings or a girdle, or whether you wear a massive tool belt on the job. On top of that, meralgia paresthetica might come from a seatbelt injury in the course of a car crash.

Physical Examination

Your doctor will likewise check for any sensory differences between the affected leg and your other leg. To verify the site of the burning pain, he or she will put some pressure on the nerve to replicate the sensation. You may require both an abdominal and a pelvic evaluation to exclude any issues in those areas.


X-rays will help recognize any bone abnormalities that may be putting tension on the nerve. If your doctor thinks that a growth like a tumor is the source of the pressure, he or she may ask for a magnetic resonance image or a computed tomography (CT) scan. In unique cases, a nerve conduction study may be advised.


Treatments will vary, depending on the source of the pressure.

The objective is to eliminate the cause of the compression. This may well mean resting from an aggravating activity, burning fat, wearing loose clothing, or utilizing a toolbox instead of donning a tool belt.

It might take time for the burning pain to stop and, sometimes, numbness will persist despite treatment. In much more serious cases, your physician may give you an injection of a corticosteroid preparation to decrease inflammation. This typically relieves the symptoms for a long time. In rare cases, surgery is needed to release the nerve.

No matter what treatment is needed, a good Mexico, MO orthopedic doctor like Dr. Kathleen Weaver will be with you each and every step of the way. To get an appointment, simply give them a call today.

I just want to thank you for everything you have done for me and my family.  You use not only your expert knowledge but your kind and caring heart in all you do, and it shows.

J. Z. age 23