What is the anatomy of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in nerve entrapment syndromes of the lower extremity?

Updated: Oct 15, 2019
  • Author: Minoo Hadjari Hollis, MD; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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Answer

The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve arises from the ventral primary rami of L2-4, where they divide into anterior and posterior branches. The dorsal portions fuse to form the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in the midpelvic region of the psoas major. The nerve then courses over the iliacus toward the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS). It travels posterior to the inguinal ligament and superior to the sartorius at the iliac crest region and divides into anterior and posterior branches.

The anterior branch of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve comes off 10 cm distal to the inguinal ligament, in line with the ASIS, and supplies cutaneous sensation to the lateral thigh, including the area just proximal to the patella; it then communicates with cutaneous branches of the femoral nerve and the saphenous nerve to form the patellar plexus. The posterior branch of the nerve pierces the fascia lata posteriorly and laterally and divides into multiple small branches that supply the skin from the greater trochanter to the midthigh. [9]


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