Femoral nerve pain shooting down front of thigh when mobilising

by jacqueline dick
(Glasgow,Scotland, uk)

ligthen up as you pass over the femoral nerve and artery.

ligthen up as you pass over the femoral nerve and artery.

I have a right labral tear, diagnosed 7 years ago by arthrogram.
Went on to develop classic paresthetica meralgia in left thigh. Now getting shooting nerve pain of sudden onset when walking which stops me in my tracks and can cause me to fall on occasion. Which leg? Thereafter painful limping for about 5 minutes and have to try and manipulate thigh to relieve nerve pain.
Unpredictable in onset. Can occur after a bout of sitting with first few steps or comes on suddenly after walking for some distance. Appears to be triggered by extension phase of walking but flexion of hip during exercise can also exacerbate. Frequent dull LBP at SIJ. Scan only shows labral tear and mild degenerative arthritic changes.

Orthopaedic consultant states that pain likely to be nerve impingement from poor hip stability and joint hyper mobile syndrome. Feels I will require hip replacement in approximately 10 years on right side. Has no advice on how to manage left nerve pain.

Causing great distress with pain, radiculopathy, particularly at night and fear of falling. Exacerbated by exercise and other activities of daily living. Worried about sustaining my employment as I work in orthopaedics as trained occupational therapist. Physiotherapy has not yielded any success in alleviating pain.

Hello Jacqueline,
It's not absolutely clear, but I'm presuming this is left anterior thigh pain; not classic for meralgia paresthetica by the way, as the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve supplies predominantly the lateral thigh.

Plus LFCN is sensory only. The big question is whether the falls are due to pain, or weakness in the quad. The knee jerk is normal? Springing on your knee reveals no weakness of the quad?

Lying prone, if your PT extends your hip with the knee bent, do you get much greater tightness or pain in the left ant thigh compared to the right?

Does lumbar flexion, extension, lateral flexion or Kemp's test provoke any anterior thigh pain, or mid lumbar pain?

Pulling your knee to the chest: do you get a pinch in the groin? Does the Fabere test provoke any groin/ hip pain when dropping the knee into the lotus position?

With a little oil on your thumb, beginning at the ASIS, is it very tender as you pass through the groin and particularly in the adductor magnus as you run down the medial thigh?

It's not clear in my mind from what you describe whether this is hip and capsular pain from a hypermobile hip (no signs of dysplasia, no sloping acetabulum, no unroofed femoral ball?) or a true femoral nerve condition. Try and answer the above as accurately as you can to get a more accurate diagnosis.

No family history of hip disease?

Could you try and send me a copy of your pelvic x-ray?

I hope this contributes to your conundrum. Give me some answers.

Dr B

Comments for Femoral nerve pain shooting down front of thigh when mobilising

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 08, 2018
Thank you for responding
by: Dd


Yes sir. It is in my right thigh, almost a parellogram shape just above the knee slightly outer side. And yes it is being numb the past five six years and sensations are very different from my left side. It is acute. I suffered sleepless nights during April and May. But with the help of yoga, physical therapy and cycling, it is reduced a little bit that I can do household works with slight pain. Before therapies I couldn’t even walk or do chores.
Sorry if I ve missed anything kindly let me know.
Thank you again.

I'm getting a little confused, Dd. You've tacked onto Jacqueline's thread. Are you Jackie? I asked her to do a lot of tests and haven't heard the results.

If you are not Jackie they I suggest you start with your own thread at Chiropractic Help, giving me all the details.

Dr B

Aug 08, 2018
Meralgia parasthetica
by: Dd

Hello sir/mam

I’m suffering with MP since my first pregnancy in 2013. I had it in my pregnancy and reduced drastically after delivery. The same happened in my second pregnancy also. But now I got my MP back this April and it or worst this time. Doing yoga and cycling both of which slightly helps. Now scared that it seems to happen in my other leg too. Any permanent cure for this in chiropractic doctor? I’m 32yrs and 66kg weight.
Thank you.

Like I said, do those tests I asked for, and let's see. I'm yet to be convinced this is meralgia paresthetica.

Take a needle and prick your thigh, all the way round, and compare with the other leg; is it different and if so map out exactly where with a koki and send it to me. Sharper or duller? And which leg is causing the drama?

Dr B

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Femoral nerve.

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

Are you looking for a different slant on your pain?

Do you want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.

You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.