Femoral nerve pain

by Rhonda
(Christiansburg va, usa)

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» » Femoral nerve pain

My husband is 62 and recently diagnosed within the last year as diabetic type 2. Over the last couple of months he has right groin pain and since he is veteran, we go to the va hospital. They prescribed him gabapentin stating it is sciatic pain. It does not help much if at all, and makes him drowsy.

He also has sleep apnea which adds to this. The gabapentin affects his sex drive which really irritates him and neither of us believe it to be sciatic pain. Can you help us?

Hello Rhonda,
Yes, I think I may be able to contribute though for obvious reasons you need to take care placing anything you read on the net over your own doctor's advice. Your husband's doctors have been able to examine him; I haven't.

But you're quite right; this doesn't sound like sciatica at all and there's a real possibility of a completely wrong diagnosis.

Luckily it's really quite easy to test for sciatica. You can do it at home, though the interpretation of these tests can be very difficult.

1. Have your husband bend slowly forwards, then backwards, then to the side. What does he feel? Any back pain, any leg or groin pain?

2. Sitting in a normal kitchen chair, raise his left leg parallel to the ground. Lower it and now the naughty leg. Is there any pain or severe tightness at the back of the right thigh or calf? In the back?

3. Lying on his back, raise his straight left leg as far as it will go. Lower it, and now the right leg. Does he get pain or tightness in the back of the thigh or calf much sooner than the left leg?

If none of these tests are obviously positive, then it's unlikely he has sciatica.

More likely is a condition in the hip. Again have him lie on the bed and pull his left knee to the chest, then towards the opposite shoulder, and then make a circle. Repeat with the right leg. Is it obviously much stiffer and painful in the groin? A hip condition like an impingement syndrome, or arthritis.

Now look for Patrick's faber test at the link above.

A femoral nerve lesion is less likely, but possible. Depending on your answers to the above, we'll go into that. Have xrays been taken?

Let me have some answers, sticking to this thread, and we'll see if we can take this further. Please answer all of the above in full if you want a helpful answer.

When the treatment is worse than the disease, and particularly if it's not helping and has nasty side effects, you know what to do, right!

Dr B

» Femoral nerve pain

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Oct 14, 2015
Right femoral pain reply
by: Anonymous

On the tests you suggested.....the straight leg extension does not hurt. A little stuff on the right leg but no pain. Bending forward pulls in his groin and the third exercise he laughed at and said he couldn't do this before he was hurt.

And the sitting in the chair test. Like I said, if you want a helpful answer give me a detailed reply. I also don't understand the last sentence above. Full details, skimpy replies like this don't help.

Dr B

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