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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 77:84 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2005.072363
  • Historical note

Meralgia paraesthetica (Bernhardt-Roth syndrome)

  1. J M S Pearce
  1. Emeritus Consultant Neurologist, Department of Neurology, Hull Royal Infirmary, 304 Beverley Road Anlaby, East Yorks, HU10 7BG, UK; jmspearce@freenet.co.uk

      Meralgia paraesthetica (Bernhardt-Roth syndrome) is a distinctive condition, more common in men than in women, characterised by paraesthesiae and often burning pain over the anterolateral aspect of the thigh. Impaired or altered sensation is found in the same area, but there is no motor weakness or wasting and the knee jerk is preserved, distinguishing it from radiculopathy. Prolonged standing, or sitting with the thigh extended, may provoke symptoms because hip extension increases angulation and tension on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN), whereas flexion of thigh on the pelvis improves symptoms by decreasing these forces. The incidence is estimated at 4 per 10 000 person years.1

      Martin Bernhardt (1844–1915), a German neuropathologist first depicted the condition in 1878.2 His second paper …