Femoral Neuropathy

Any blunt or penetrating trauma, surgery or angiography in the groin, prolonged lithotomy position, or hyperextension during dance or gymnastics can injure the femoral nerve. A tumor or inguinal hernia involving the plexus can also compress the nerve. The femoral nerve supplies the quadriceps muscles for knee extension and provides sensory information from the anterior medial thigh and medial leg. Dysfunction in this nerve can result in pain in the groin that radiates to the thigh, buckling of the knee caused by quadriceps weakness, and sensory loss over its area of distribution. Weakness in the hip flexors indicates a more proximal lesion in the lumbar plexus or roots. Diabetic lumbosacral plexopathy should also be distinguished from femoral neuropathies. With the former, patients are older than 50 years, with diabetes, and develop acute severe pain in the thigh that progresses over days to weakness in the femoral nerve distribution. Sensory symptoms are mild. EMG helps distinguish these different conditions.

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