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Meralgia Paraesthetica vs Lymphedema

Are you experiencing unexplained pain, discomfort, or tenderness in your thighs? Is it accompanied by swelling? It could be lymphedema or meralgia paraesthetica. It’s important to determine which it is, because one is a condition with no cure that must be managed carefully to prevent it from becoming worse.

What Is Meralgia Paraesthetica?

Meralgia paraesthetica is caused by a pinched nerve. It causes the skin on the outside of the thigh to be painful at the touch. People describe the sensation as feeling bruised or tender to the touch. Meralgia paraesthetica is caused by nerve entrapment – the nerve involved in the lateral cutaneous nerve.

What Is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema results from a blockage in the lymphatic system that prevents lymph nodes from draining. When the lymph nodes are blocked, the area swells. This is most commonly caused by damage to the lymphatic system from cancer and cancer treatments but can also be the result of complications from lipedema – fat deposits that, as they grow, block the lymph nodes.

Treatment for Meralgia Paraesthetica

The treatment for meralgia paraesthetica is often to simply take ibuprofen or another NSAID to reduce swelling and release the nerve. In some cases, it may require physical therapy. Only in extreme cases will it require surgery.

Treatment for Lymphedema

There is no cure for lymphedema, which will continue to progress over time. The best course of action is to take measures that will prevent the lymphedema from progressing to further stages. To do this, you may need to use compression stockings and garments and manual lymph drainage. In some cases, it may also require liposuction to remove fatty deposits and allow the lymph nodes the capacity to function.

Lymphedema is a serious condition that will continue to get worse without intervention. If you suspect your thigh pain is a result of lymphedema, we urge you to make an appointment with Northern Michigan Vein Specialists. We proudly serve patients from Traverse City, Cadillac, Manistee, Big Rapids, Houghton Lake, Grayling, Sault Ste. Marie MI and surrounding areas. Call today for your consultation at (231) 946-1488 or complete a Contact Form here!

Posted in: Lipedema and Lymphedema

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