Femoral Nerve Pain

Do you ever feel like your leg is going to give way? You’re not alone! Femoral nerve pain is quite common, and while it can be uncomfortable and even painful, there’s no reason to let it control your life. Let’s learn more about this nerve and how to manage the pain, so you can get back to living life on your own terms.


What is Femoral Neuropathy?

Femoral neuropathy is an often painful, nerve-related disorder that occurs when the femoral nerve is damaged. This nerve, running through the buttocks and down the thigh to the knee, helps provide movement and sensory functions to the lower body. Femoral neuropathy can be caused by a variety of different causes and may require physical therapy for relief.

The most common cause of femoral neuropathy is prolonged pressure on or damage to your femoral nerve fibers. This could be due to direct trauma sustained in a sporting activity or an accident; or physiological changes such as weight gain, pregnancy, tight clothing, or poorly fitting shoes which may all compress the nerves in your legs. Additionally, certain medical conditions such as diabetes can produce damage to both large and small nerves in your lower body, resulting in pain and dysfunction known as femoral neuropathy.

Symptoms of femoral neuropathy usually present as deep pain along with numbness or weakness of your hip muscles, thigh & leg muscles; difficulty with lifting your toes up while walking, and an inability to fully flex your knee joint. In most cases, they will begin gradually until either increasing pressure is placed on them from prolonged activities or a sudden trauma caused by falling onto your hip cause a large increase in symptoms. Physical therapy for femoral neuropathy includes exercises aimed at restoring normal range of motion; muscle-strengthening exercises which improve stability & enable better posture; strengthening foot dorsiflexion & improving gait; stretching tight hip flexors & hamstrings which will increase mobility. In addition to medication and physical therapy lifestyle modifications such as weight loss for those who are overweight be recommended in order to help reduce the stress placed on these delicate nerves.

What Causes Femoral Neuropathy?

Femoral neuropathy is caused by damage to the femoral nerve, which is one of the largest nerves in the lower part of your body. There are several causes of femoral nerve damage, including direct injury, diabetes, and other medical conditions. Femoral nerve pain can range from mild to severe and can affect your mobility and quality of life.

Direct injury to the femoral nerve can occur due to pelvic fractures, gunshot wounds, or any other trauma that affects the lower extremities. Wearing tight clothing may also lead to compression of this nerve, causing pain and weakness in the muscles. Surgical procedures involving hip, laparoscopic, or endoscopy might all cause temporary damage to the femoral nerve due to stretching or hemorrhaging around this area.

Diabetic amyotrophy is a type of diabetic neuropathy that affects not only the femoral nerve but many other nerves throughout your body as well. This condition is caused by prolonged immobilization combined with high blood sugar levels, which interrupt normal insulin production. As a result, long-term complications like widespread nerve damage can occur in diabetics who suffer from poor control over their blood pressure or continue eating diets high in sugar despite medical advice or good intentions.

Another potential cause of femoral neuropathy is retroperitoneal space syndrome (RSDS). This occurs when arteries near the pelvic region are constricted by scar tissue leading to necrosis (cell death) within nerves close by including those located within proximity to large veins such as those found in the femoral artery (the primary artery serving most major muscles). Poor circulation caused by RSDS results in reduced oxygen levels needed for healthy functioning leading to nitrogenous compounds deposition within cells leading ultimately to ROS accumulation resulting in more cell death primarily affecting motor neuron functioning. These cells may become unable to reduce the impulse transmission needed for movement properly resulting in further muscle weakness and atrophy observed with sustained NSFP (Non-Surgical Femoro-Pelvic Syndrome) episodes – ultimately resulting in reduced mobility across both arms respectively legs requiring specialized treatments such as exercise regimens meant to rehabilitate affected areas robustly back original state priors each episode occurrence

Signs of Femoral Neuropathy

Femoral neuropathy, or femoral nerve damage, is a nerve condition that can cause lower extremity muscle weakness and unusual sensations in your leg and genital region. Pain is usually the main symptom associated with this condition. The most common signs of femoral neuropathy include quadriceps weakness, such as difficulty walking or an inability to Run. Other possible symptoms are tingling and numbness or burning sensations in the groin, inner thigh area, and in some cases potentially all of your affected leg.

Femoral neuropathy can affect people of any age but often more commonly affects adults aged over 60 years old. It can be caused by extreme physical activity injury sustained as a result of trauma such as a fall or a blow to the front of your thigh or any other direct pressure placed on the femoral nerve including childbirth labor complications through birth presentation-related issues perineal tear during delivery. It can also be caused by sitting in an uncomfortable position too long or by narrowing of the channels around your spine area (spinal stenosis) which compresses the bones surrounding your nerves.

If you experience any pain in your thigh region that becomes worse with movement, experience difficulty standing for long periods of time or lifting objects with your affected leg then you should seek medical attention immediately to help diagnose what could be causing these symptoms so that it may be dealt with appropriately before it gets worse. Your healthcare provider will likely assess any tenderness you have upon examination in addition to checking for signs of weakened reflexes like decreases in knee-jerk reflex strength amongst other tests and investigations might then be requested if deemed necessary.

Diagnosing Femoral Neuropathy

Diagnosing femoral neuropathy requires your doctor to ask about your medical history and symptoms, evaluate any recent injuries and perform a physical exam to assess the functioning of the femoral nerve.

Your doctor will look for deficiency in the middle part of your quadriceps (the muscles in the front part of your thigh) or knee reflexes. Weakness or numbness on either side of the front part of your thigh might also be present due to damage to other nerves. Additionally, they will also look for signs of impaired functioning caused by a narrowing or inflammation in the hip joint but this is less likely as femoral neuropathy is often related to a pinched nerve further down in the movement system.

During the physical exam, your doctor may use various tests to help diagnose femoral nerve pain. These include strength tests, response to touch or pressure on certain areas, and neurological exams that are designed to measure sensation, reflexes, and balance. Based on their findings from medical history, responses during examination, and imaging test results if required, then treatment can begin according to severity and cause.

Treatment Options

Femoral nerve pain can be debilitating and require medical attention to resolve. It is one of the most common forms of nerve pain, affecting a large portion of the population. Treatment options focus on reducing the inflammation and pressure on the nerve and restoring normal nerve function so that it can start to heal.

The first step towards treatments for femoral nerve pain should be a visit to a doctor or specialist. They can help diagnose any underlying medical condition that may have caused or contributed to the injury. Common causes include physical strength, diets with unstable blood sugar or mineral deficiencies, or stretch injury from incorrect body mechanics during exercise.

Physical therapy is often recommended for milder injuries in which inflammation and symptoms are present but no long-lasting damage has been done. A physical therapist will typically suggest mild compression from wraps or bandages around the area to reduce inflammation, as well as exercises specifically aimed at stretching muscles in order to relieve pressure on the nerve.

For more severe cases and those with lasting effects such as neurological signs relating to nerve dysfunction, additional treatments may be needed such as specialized medications prescribed by a doctor, injections, or electrical stimulation of nerves called TENS (transcutaneous electrical stimulation).

By focusing on reducing symptoms and inflammation associated with femoral nerve pain in addition to restoring normal sensations and use of affected muscles through physical therapy, individuals have a great opportunity for recovery from this condition naturally and without surgery whenever possible!


When it comes to treating femoral nerve pain, medications are the most common approach. Medicines can range from over-the-counter pain relief options to prescription medications, depending on the severity and duration of pain. Here are some of the medications that may be prescribed to reduce femoral nerve pain:

• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medications can help relieve swelling, inflammation, and discomfort associated with femoral nerve damage. Common NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen.

• Corticosteroids: Corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce swelling and inflammation surrounding the femoral nerve in more advanced cases of femoral nerve pain. Injections may also be used for severe or stubborn cases of scar tissue buildup around the nerves that do not respond to NSAIDs alone.

• Neuropathic Pain Medicines: Neuropathic pain medicines work by reducing signals from damaged nerves in order to keep sensations like burning, tingling, and numbness in check. Common neuropathic medicines include pregabalin (Lyrica) and gabapentin (Neurontin).

While this article has highlighted common medications available for treating femoral nerve damage, they should always be prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional after an individual assessment of your condition is completed.

Everyone’s body reacts differently so it’s important to get tailored advice from a healthcare provider who is familiar with your medical history before attempting any medication or treatment plan for dealing with your symptoms of femoral nerve damage.


Femoral nerve pain can sometimes require physical therapy, occupational therapy, and even vocational counseling depending on how severe the condition is. Your doctor will determine what type of treatment is needed based on the extent of the damage, muscle atrophy, and the limitations your condition forces in daily living. In addition to a knee brace or orthopedic device for enhanced support and stability, other self-care activities may be necessary.

Physical therapy can help to strengthen your leg muscles as well as stretch them when necessary. Depending on how much nerve damage there is, physical therapy might consist of exercises such as leg lifts or mobility drills that target specific areas affected by knee buckling or fatigue in order to restore regular tasks related to daily living.

Occupational therapy focuses on strengthening the ability to perform regular activities by teaching different techniques while taking into account any limitations posed by the medical condition associated with neurological symptoms such as femoral nerve pain. This might include energy-saving techniques for cooking or cleaning, adaptive devices, and tools that enable accessibility in work tasks or activities at home, assistive devices during therapeutic exercises, and the providence of a coach who monitors progress while providing emotional support.

Vocational counseling addresses planning your career path if femoral nerve damage affects your job performance. The counselor will help identify any issues related to finding employment after a period of disability due to sickness as well as address special considerations that must be addressed before starting any new job. They will also assess qualifications for receiving government benefits if you are unable to return to work due to injury associated with femoral nerve pain.


Femoral nerve pain can be treated with a wide variety of non-surgical and surgical procedures. When you’re considering surgery, it’s important to make sure that your doctor has experience treating femoral nerve pain. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for everyone, there are some things to consider when deciding if surgical treatment is the best option for you.

Surgical intervention is commonly recommended for those suffering from severe and chronic femoral nerve pain that interferes with their daily functioning. This type of operation usually involves releasing pressure on the nerve by removing tissue or bone that may be restricting its movement or impinging on the nerve itself.

Depending on the extent of your injuries, your doctor may also choose to perform a diskectomy or ablation procedure in order to reduce further irritation and inflammation of the femoral nerve and associated symptoms.

In addition to these treatments, physical therapy or chiropractic care may also be prescribed in order to reduce tension in the muscles around the femoral nerve area, as well as strengthen muscles around it in order to create better support and reduce stress on surrounding tissue. Other lifestyle modifications such as changing one’s posture while sitting or standing may also improve overall comfort level by decreasing pressure felt on the nerves.

Regardless of which treatment path you and your doctor decide is best for you, it’s important to remember that surgery should always be considered an absolute last resort option due to the risks associated with such procedures – ranging from minor infections to serious medical conditions such as permanent deficits depending upon how extensive it is and what other conditions were identified at surgery time.

As always, consulting with your physician regarding this decision is incredibly important before proceeding so please speak openly with them about their recommended treatment course before making any commitments to more invasive measures like scoliosis surgery.

Long-term Outlook After Treatment

Femoral nerve pain is a type of lower limb nerve damage caused by trauma or compression. It is usually accompanied by severe lower limb pain, as well as numbness, sensitivity, and tingling sensations. In order to successfully diagnose and treat this condition, healthcare professionals must determine the root cause.

The treatment for femoral nerve pain typically involves a combination of physical therapy exercises, rest periods, and medications prescribed by your physician. Following these protocols for recovery can have a significant effect on the patient’s long-term outlook after treatment.

When it comes to physical therapy exercises, there are multiple activities that are specifically designed to target affected muscles and nerves in the area of femoral nerve damage. These exercises should be done several times a week in order to ensure adequate recovery time between treatments.

Additionally, rest periods are necessary during active treatments in order to allow muscle tissue to rebuild itself, which reduces strain and increases mobility in the affected area over time.

Finally, medication should be prescribed by your physician if prescribed appropriately and followed correctly medically supervised medications can help reduce inflammation around severely damaged nerves and increase blood flow in weakened muscle fibers as well as control any associated chronic pain conditions related to the injury itself.

Overall this regime can result in an improved long-term outlook after treatment for femoral nerve pain when followed correctly with careful oversight from a medical professional such as an orthopedic specialist who specializes in this particular kind of painful condition. It should also be noted that since femoral nerve damage can be serious no single course of action will work for everyone; it is important to directly discuss your overall outlook with your physician before beginning any recovery plan so that you understand exactly what steps you will need to take on your journey towards full recovery from this type of lower limb injury or aggravation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Symptoms of femoral nerve damage can include:

  • Pain in the front of the thigh, groin, or outer hip
  • Numbness and tingling in the front of the thigh, groin, or outer hip
  • Weakness in the front of the thigh, hip, or knee
  • Difficulty extending the knee or hip
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Difficulty controlling the bladder or bowels

Femoral neuropathy is a condition in which the femoral nerve, which runs through the thigh and is responsible for hip movement, is damaged or impaired. Symptoms may include pain, numbness, and muscle weakness in the leg. Treatment typically includes physical therapy and medications.

The femoral nerve is a branch of the lumbar plexus that supplies motor and sensory innervation to the muscles and skin of the thigh. It also provides innervation to some of the muscles of the anterior and medial compartments of the leg.

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It is essential to acknowledge the potential causes of femoral nerve pain and to act quickly to prevent further damage or discover underlying conditions. An important first step when dealing with this pain is to practice preventive measures, such as maintaining a healthy active lifestyle and controlling blood sugar levels.

Making lifestyle changes is especially beneficial for those suffering from a neurologic disorder. For those with neurological problems, it is important to strengthen the leg muscles around the nerve, which can help manage symptoms. Additionally, medication and physical therapy may be required in some cases of femoral nerve pain in order to reduce inflammation, and swelling and manage discomfort.

The long-term outlook for individuals with femoral nerve pain depends on the severity of the condition and any underlying causes that require treatment. By understanding the potential sources of femoral nerve pain and following recommended treatments, individuals may be able to reduce or prevent future incidences of this painful condition.

Spine Institute NY