Meralgia paresthetica due to body armor wear in U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq: a case report and review of the literature

Mil Med. 2007 Jun;172(6):663-5. doi: 10.7205/milmed.172.6.663.


Meralgia paresthetica is a disorder of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve that results in symptoms of anterolateral thigh paresthesias and dysesthesias without associated loss of reflexes or motor weakness. Chronic meralgia paresthetica, not related to traumatic or lesion-producing compression of the nerve, is associated with obesity, pregnancy, tight-fitting garments, as well as specific duty uniform belts used by police officers and carpenters. Cases are presented in which two U.S. soldiers in Iraq experienced symptoms of meralgia paresthetica, most likely due to repetitive wear of protective body armor. Although use of protective body armor is proven to be lifesaving, modifications to improve current equipment may help to decrease morbidities such as meralgia paresthetica.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Femoral Nerve / injuries
  • Femoral Neuropathy / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Iraq
  • Male
  • Military Medicine*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / etiology*
  • Paresthesia / etiology*
  • Protective Clothing / adverse effects*
  • Thigh / innervation
  • United States