Decompression and neurolysis of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in the surgical treatment of meralgia paresthetica and the results
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Meralgia paresthetica (MP), also known as Bernhardt-Roth syndrome, is a peripheral neuropathy of the primary sensory lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN). Its diagnosis is challenging, because it can mimic other clinical conditions particularly associated with upper lumbar spine or pelvis. Patients present with pain and paresthesia over the anterolateral thigh. Diagnosis is usually based on clinical examination and is supported by sensory nerve conduction (SNC) studies. The initial treatment is always conservative. In limited number of patients who are refractory to conservative managements, surgical treatment via decompression/neurolysis or neurectomy is concerned. There is still no consensus on which surgical technique is the best and the first choice. We retrospectively analyzed the surgical outcomes of 12 nonobese patients who underwent decompression/neurolysis between the years 2013 and 2018. Bilateral SNC studies were performed in all cases which supported the diagnosis. We applied conservative treatments for 3 months in addition to the treatments previously applied in other centers. Surgery was recommended for the patients who were refractory to these treatments. Preoperative and postoperative pain levels during follow-up visits were evaluated with visual analogue scale (VAS). A retrospective analysis was performed on preoperative and postoperative 6th month VAS scores. The mean preoperative VAS value was 8.75 +/- 0.62 and the postoperative VAS value at the sixth month was 1.17 +/- 0.72. A significant reduction in the pain was shown (p < 0.05). Our surgical results showed that decompression/neurolysis of the LFCN should be concerned as the primary surgical approach to avoid negative outcomes of resection surgeries.