What are the signs and symptoms of saphenous nerve entrapment?

Updated: Oct 15, 2019
  • Author: Minoo Hadjari Hollis, MD; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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Symptoms of saphenous nerve entrapment may include a deep thigh ache, knee pain, and paresthesias in the nerve’s cutaneous distribution in the leg and foot. The infrapatellar branch may become entrapped on its own because it passes through a separate foramen in the sartorius tendon. It may also be exposed to trauma where it runs horizontally across the prominence of the medial femoral epicondyle. Patients report paresthesias and numbness in the infrapatellar region that worsen with knee flexion or compression by garments or braces.

Saphenous nerve entrapment is a frequently overlooked cause of persistent medial knee pain in patients who experience trauma or direct blows to the medial aspect of the knee. Because the saphenous nerve is purely sensory, an isolated injury to this nerve should not result in weakness. If weakness is present, the examiner should look for an injury to the femoral nerve or, possibly, an upper lumbar radiculopathy, particularly if thigh adduction is present (obturator nerve).

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