Learn About Femoral Nerve Dysfunction

What is the definition of Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?

Femoral nerve dysfunction is a loss of movement or sensation in parts of the legs due to damage to the femoral nerve.

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What are the alternative names for Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?

Neuropathy - femoral nerve; Femoral neuropathy

What are the causes of Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?

The femoral nerve is located in the pelvis and goes down the front of the leg. It helps the muscles move the hip and straighten the leg. It provides feeling (sensation) to the front of the thigh and part of the lower leg.

A nerve is made up of many fibers, called axons, surrounded by insulation, called the myelin sheath.

Damage to any one nerve, such as the femoral nerve, is called mononeuropathy. Mononeuropathy usually means there is a local cause of damage to a single nerve. Disorders that involve the entire body (systemic disorders) can also cause isolated nerve damage to one nerve at a time (such as occurs with mononeuritis multiplex).

More common causes of femoral nerve dysfunction are:

  • Direct injury (trauma)
  • Prolonged pressure on the nerve
  • Compression, stretching, or entrapment of the nerve by nearby parts of the body or disease-related structures (such as a tumor or abnormal blood vessel)

The femoral nerve can also be damaged from any of the following:

  • A broken pelvis bone
  • A catheter placed into the femoral artery in the groin
  • Diabetes or other causes of peripheral neuropathy
  • Internal bleeding in the pelvis or belly area (abdomen)
  • Lying on the back with the thighs and legs flexed and turned (lithotomy position) during surgery or diagnostic procedures
  • Tight or heavy waist belts
What are the symptoms of Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Sensation changes in the thigh, knee, or leg, such as decreased sensation, numbness, tingling, burning, or pain
  • Weakness of the knee or leg, including difficulty going up and down stairs -- especially down, with a feeling of the knee giving way or buckling
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What are the current treatments for Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?

Your provider will try to identify and treat the cause of the nerve damage. You'll be treated for any medical problems (such as diabetes or bleeding in the pelvis) that may be causing the nerve damage. In some cases, the nerve will heal with treatment of the underlying medical problem.

Other treatments may include:

  • Surgery to remove a tumor or growth that is pressing on the nerve
  • Medicines to relieve pain
  • Weight loss and change in lifestyle if diabetes or excess weight is contributing to the nerve damage

In some cases, no treatment is needed and you'll recover on your own. If so, any treatment, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy, is aimed at increasing mobility, maintaining muscle strength, and independence while you recover. Braces or splints may be prescribed to help in walking.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?

If the cause of the femoral nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated, it is possible to recover fully. In some cases, there may be partial or complete loss of movement or sensation, resulting in some degree of permanent disability.

Nerve pain may be uncomfortable and can continue for a long time. Injury to the femoral area may also injure the femoral artery or vein, which can cause bleeding and other problems.

What are the possible complications of Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?

Complications that may result include:

  • Repeated injury to the leg that goes unnoticed due to loss of sensation
  • Injury from falls due to muscle weakness
When should I contact a medical professional for Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?

Contact your provider if you develop symptoms of femoral nerve dysfunction.

Femoral nerve damage
What are the latest Femoral Nerve Dysfunction Clinical Trials?
Pelvic Pain Treated With MR-guided Cryoanalgesia

Summary: Pelvic pain syndromes have a high prevalence of up to 8% in the general population and up to 50% following pelvic trauma and pelvic surgery. While medical management is the initial therapeutic step, it is often ineffective with surgical decompression and resection of the putative nerves being the ultima ratio. Cryoablation can induce long-lasting nerve conduction blocks with resultant pain relief ...

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What are the Latest Advances for Femoral Nerve Dysfunction?
Reconstruction of Quadriceps Function Using a Single Functional Gracilis Muscle Transfer With an Adductor Longus Nerve to Femoral Nerve Branch of the Rectus Femoris Nerve Transfer.
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Effect of Neurodynamics Nerve Flossing on Femoral Neuropathy in Haemophilic Patients: A randomized controlled study.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: November 09, 2021
Published By: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Clinchot DM, Craig EJ. Femoral neuropathy. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 54.

Katirji B. Disorders of peripheral nerves. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 106.