Femoral nerve dysfunction is a loss of movement or sensation in the leg due to nerve damage.
Neuropathy - femoral nerve; Femoral neuropathy
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The femoral nerve is located in the leg. It supplies the muscles that help 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 a nerve such as the femoral nerve is called
The usual causes of femoral nerve dysfunction are direct injury (trauma), prolonged pressure on the nerve, and compression of the nerve by nearby parts of the body or disease-related structures (such as a
Entrapment involves pressure on the nerve where it passes through a narrow structure (for example, as it passes through a muscle). The damage includes destruction of the insulation around the nerve (the
The femoral nerve can be injured due to breaking bones of the pelvis. It can be injured when a catheter is placed in the artery in the groin (femoral artery), which lies next to the nerve. It can be one of many nerves affected by diseases causing widespread nerve damage (polyneuropathy), such as
One common risk factor is lying on the back with the thighs and legs flexed ("lithotomy" position) during surgery or diagnostic procedures. Branches of the femoral nerve can be compressed by tight or heavy waist belts. In some cases, no cause can be found.
Review Date: 12/21/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.