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If your pain is in your outer thigh after pelvic mesh surgery, femoral nerve damage may be to blame. Of the people who develop nerve pain after pelvic surgery in one study, 3 out of 23 developed femoral neuropathy. Femoral neuropathy can occur from surgical dissection (cutting) of your femoral nerve, prolonged pressure on the nerve (including improper positioning during pelvic surgery) or hemotoma that arises from surgery. Injury to or bleeding from your femoral artery can cause also compression on that nerve.
In addition to surgical problems, diabetes is the most common cause of femoral neuropathy. Other causes include radiation therapy, tumors, or pelvic fractures. Most of the time, it goes away on its own. You might also feel abnormal sensations from your knee down to your toes. It can be extremely bothersome and even affect the way you move your leg and your ability to bear weight on that leg or walk safely. Your leg or knee might feel weak and you may not be able to put pressure on that leg.
Your femoral nerve is one of the largest nerves in your leg. It is near your goon and controls the muscles that help you straighten your leg and move your hips. It provides feeling to the lower part of your leg and the front of your thigh and foot.
• numbness over the front of the thigh and inside of your leg
• tingling over the front of the thigh and inside of your leg, lower leg and foot
• dull aching pain in your genital area
• lower extremity weakness
• difficulty extending your knee
• feeling like your leg or knee is going to give out on you
Having a femoral nerve injury can weaken the muscles of your leg, make it difficult to walk properly and can cause your to fall.
Testing for femoral neuropathy may include an electromyogram (EMG), MRI or CT.
Treatment: If the problem does not go away after a few months, corticosteriod injections may help reduce inflammation and swelling and pain medications may help relieve pain. Physical therapy can build up strength and relieve your pain and improve your ability to walk safely. Orthopedic devices may also be needed.
Naturopaths recommend acupressure and acupuncture are other alternative modes, certain herbs such as lobelia, white sage, and valerian root, known to be effective in nerve disease.
If you’d like to join an online support group and learn about erosion, partial removals, surgeons, or just find out that you are not alone, join my group, Surgical Mesh or check the list of support groups here.
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This blog contains first-hand opinions about pelvic surgical mesh from a calliope of experience: from 10 years of meetings, phone calls, emails and social network with mesh victims, interviews with surgeons, years of front-line emergency nurse work and early work in biostatistics and medical research, to walking the mesh walk today. I’ve learned about the magnificent inner strength of women facing unparalleled and unimaginable pelvic injuries and, along with it physical, emotional, social and spiritual challenges that would buckle the knees of the bravest soldier. These women inspire me in their tenacity and unwillingness to let go of the true joy in their lives.
To those women, I dedicate this blog.