If you have sensation problems in your lower leg, saphenous nerve entrapment may be the culprit. Saphenous nerve entrapment is caused when pressure is placed on the saphenous nerve by the muscles in your thigh or the ligament-like tissue around it. It causes pain, numbness and loss of feeling in your lower leg.
When they want to numb up your leg for surgery (local anesthesia), the saphenous nerve is the one they block. It is the terminal cutaneous branch of your femoral nerve. A saphenous nerve is most often injured during harvesting for Cornary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) surgeries or during knee arthroscopy by pressure applied by the trochanter (a surgical instrument). It is strictly a sensory nerve and has no affect on your ability to move your leg or foot.
In order to diagnose Saphenous Nerve Entrapment, your doctor assesses the area where your change in sensation has occurred. One specific symptom is tenderness at the site where the entrapment is. Diagnosing it properly is important because it can mimic knee disorders and L4 spine rediculopathy (changes in sensation).
• Unpleasant, painful sensation or tenderness on inner side of your lower leg
• Tingling, numbness, or burning on the inner (medial) side of the knee, inner leg, and occasionally the inner foot
• Pain that increases with activities such as running, jumping, or long walks
Treatment: At first, the best treatment is resting from any activities that aggravate your symptoms. Intermittent ice and medications may help reduce pain and inflammation. Strengthening and stretching exercises may help reduce your pain. Physical therapy can provide exercises you can perform at home. If those measures are not helping, a corticosteroid injection may be used to help reduce the inflammation that is compressing the nerve. Surgery may be recommended for persistent problems, freeing the compressed nerve from the fascia that is placing pressure on it.
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