Clinical outcomes of lateral femoral cutaneous nerve injury
Direct anterior total hip arthroplasty (THA) is an increasingly utilized and patient-requested approach for arthroplasty carrying a unique set of complications. Injury to the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN) can have a wide range of clinical symptoms ranging from hypesthesia to painful paresthesia.

Long-term effects of this injury have not been well studied. In the present study published in The Journal of Arthroplasty, the authors describe the duration and severity of these symptoms and correlate their relationship with hip functional scores.

680 patients were surveyed for reported outcomes including Douleur Neuropathique 4-Interview (DN4-I), Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score for Joint Replacement (HOOS, JR), and Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Short Form Global Health Assessment. The DN4-I was considered positive if 3 (or more) of 7 neuropathic pain symptoms were affirmed at present in the distribution of the LFCN of the affected leg.

The results revealed that the most commonly experienced neuropathic symptom in the distribution of the LFCN following direct anterior THA was “numbness” that occurred in 37% of patients with a positive DN4-I score. Neuropathic symptoms improved in patients further out from surgery with pain reported in 11% of patients from 6 to 8 years postoperatively. Neuropathic symptoms significantly showed improvement with time and appear to be independent of hip function scores.

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