To diagnose meralgia paresthetica, a doctor may take an X-ray of the affected hip and thigh. A nerve conduction study can be used to check how the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is functioning. A nerve conduction study uses electrodes placed on the skin to apply an electrical impulse and record the nerve’s response. A test called an EMG may be run in some cases to test to see if the muscles supplied by the nerve are working normally. People with meralgia paresthetica will have normal muscle responses, but the test can help to rule out the involvement of other nerves.
In most cases, conservative treatment measures like weight loss, using over-the-counter pain medications and wearing clothing that doesn’t compress the groin region can help the condition go away within weeks or months. However, cases that do not go away or involve severe pain may require additional treatments, such as corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and medications. Tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsant medications like gabapentin are both used for treating nerve pain. Surgery to remove pressure from the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is sometimes used as a last-resort treatment when other treatment options are not effective.