Natural history of lateral femoral cutaneous nerve neuropraxia after anterior approach total hip arthroplasty

Hip Int. 2019 Mar;29(2):161-165. doi: 10.1177/1120700019827201.


Aim:: The aim of this study was to examine the natural history of lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN) neuropraxia in a previously reported cohort of individuals after direct anterior approach (DAA).

Methods:: 99 patients (107 hips) with LFCN neuropraxia were identified, out of which 82 patients (87 hips) (83.1%) completed functional outcomes questionnaires at mean follow-up of 5.5 years (4.4-6.9 years). 5 patients were excluded from the study due to intra-articular source of pain and/or revision surgery. The total sample was composed of 77 patients (31 total hip replacements and 51 hip resurfacings) and functional outcomes scores were obtained for all patients.

Results:: At average 5.46-year follow-up, 55 patients (60 hips 73%) still reported symptoms of LFCN neuropraxia but their Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores were not inferior to those who had resolution for pain, function and stiffness: p values of 0.716, 0.171, and 0.238, respectively. The mean score on visual analogue scale decreased from 2.32 (SD 2.11) to 1.76 (SD 1.99). 1 patient (1.2%) reported his activities were limited by his symptoms.

Conclusion:: Although the majority of patients still report symptoms related to LFCN neuropraxia, symptoms do improve over time and there are no functional limitations. Even if LFCN neuropraxia following DAA does not lead to functional limitations, all patients should be made aware in order to alleviate any long-term functional concerns.

Keywords: LFCN neuropraxia; direct anterior approach; hip resurfacing (HR); total hip arthroplasty (THA).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / complications
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / surgery*
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thigh / innervation*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome