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What causes numbness of skin on top of thigh with easy bruising?

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Posted on Fri, 6 Jun 2014
Question: For the past three weeks I have had numbness of the skin of the top of my right thigh with easy bruising. I was awoken with sharp stabbing pain in that area that has subsided. should I be concerned?
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Answered by Dr. Karl Logan (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Meralgia paraesthetica

Detailed Answer:
hi,

thanks for your question.

your symptoms are consistent with a condition called meralgia paraesthetica.

Meralgia paraesthetica is a nerve (neurological) condition that causes pain in the outer thigh. It is caused by compression of a nerve called the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh. This nerve supplies feeling (sensation) to the outer thigh. In many cases, the cause is not known. Usually the condition improves with conservative (non-surgical) treatment - such as anti-inflammatories, painkillers or steroid injections.

Most cases have no identifiable cause.

Meralgia paraesthetica can, however, be caused by direct injury to the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh accidentally. For example:

A seatbelt injury from a car accident
Inadvertently, during medical or surgical procedures - for example, keyhole (laparoscopic) hernia repairs - and treatments.
Various sports and physical activities can be associated with meralgia paraesthetica. These include gymnastics, baseball, soccer, bodybuilding and strenuous exercise.

Rarer causes include a neuroma. Neuromas are non-cancerous (benign) growths (tumours) on a nerve. Pelvic or intra-abdominal tumours (including cancerous ones) could also compress the nerve and cause this problem. This is rare. Other possible causes include lying down for long periods of time in a curled-up position. Diabetes can affect nerves in general and, although it would be unusual simply to have this one nerve affected, the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh could potentially be damaged by diabetes.

As you have had bruising in this area it may be that the swelling from the bruise has compressed the nerve.

Generally, the prognosis is good. Often, the symptoms of pain and pins and needles resolve with time but sometimes the numbness and altered sensation can remain, long-term. But, if there is a serious underlying cause of the entrapment (rare), the prognosis is less good.

I hope this answers your question
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Karl Logan

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 705 Questions

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What causes numbness of skin on top of thigh with easy bruising?

Brief Answer: Meralgia paraesthetica Detailed Answer: hi, thanks for your question. your symptoms are consistent with a condition called meralgia paraesthetica. Meralgia paraesthetica is a nerve (neurological) condition that causes pain in the outer thigh. It is caused by compression of a nerve called the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh. This nerve supplies feeling (sensation) to the outer thigh. In many cases, the cause is not known. Usually the condition improves with conservative (non-surgical) treatment - such as anti-inflammatories, painkillers or steroid injections. Most cases have no identifiable cause. Meralgia paraesthetica can, however, be caused by direct injury to the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh accidentally. For example: A seatbelt injury from a car accident Inadvertently, during medical or surgical procedures - for example, keyhole (laparoscopic) hernia repairs - and treatments. Various sports and physical activities can be associated with meralgia paraesthetica. These include gymnastics, baseball, soccer, bodybuilding and strenuous exercise. Rarer causes include a neuroma. Neuromas are non-cancerous (benign) growths (tumours) on a nerve. Pelvic or intra-abdominal tumours (including cancerous ones) could also compress the nerve and cause this problem. This is rare. Other possible causes include lying down for long periods of time in a curled-up position. Diabetes can affect nerves in general and, although it would be unusual simply to have this one nerve affected, the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh could potentially be damaged by diabetes. As you have had bruising in this area it may be that the swelling from the bruise has compressed the nerve. Generally, the prognosis is good. Often, the symptoms of pain and pins and needles resolve with time but sometimes the numbness and altered sensation can remain, long-term. But, if there is a serious underlying cause of the entrapment (rare), the prognosis is less good. I hope this answers your question