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Conditions We Treat: Meralgia Paresthetica

Meralgia paresthetica, also known as Bernhardt-Roth syndrome, is caused when one of the sensory nerves of your legs becomes compressed, resulting in a burning sensation felt in your outer thigh. 

Meralgia Paresthetica: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

nerve anatomy animation
  • Proper diagnosis of meralgia paresthetica requires the expert attention of an experienced physician to determine the cause and an appropriate treatment plan, including a surgical option if required.
  • Our supportive team approach, along with specialized physical therapy and rehabilitation, can relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life.
  • For more than 30 years, patients have come from around the world to Johns Hopkins for care of their peripheral nerve problems. 

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Treatment for Meralgia Paresthetica

Treatment will depend on the cause of the compression on the nerve, with the goal of relieving the pressure. Depending on the cause, your doctor may recommend the following conservative treatments:

  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles of your legs and buttocks and reduce injury to your hips
  • Wearing less restrictive clothing
  • Weight loss
  • An injection of a corticosteroid to reduce swelling

For meralgia paresthetica that does not respond to these treatments, the doctor may recommend surgical treatment (called sensory nerve surgery) to relieve the compression surrounding the nerve.

Surgery techniques include neurolysis, which is surgically freeing a nerve that is compressed by scar tissue or a neuroma tumor. Other operations can transpose the nerve, moving it to a position where it is less likely to become pinched. Transection, or cutting the nerve, can relieve the pain of meralgia paresthetica, but result in lasting numbness.

Allan Belzberg

Allan Belzberg, M.D.

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Maryland Patients

To request an appointment or refer a patient, please contact the Johns Hopkins Peripheral Nerve Surgery Center at 410-614-9923.
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Adult Neurology: 410-955-9441
Pediatric Neurology: 410-955-4259
Adult Neurosurgery: 410-955-6406
Pediatric Neurosurgery: 410-955-7337


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