Femorhombilical neuropathy (FMN) is a rare condition characterized by symptoms such as numbness or weakness in one or both legs. It affects approximately 1 out of every 10,000 people worldwide. FMN usually develops between the ages of 15 and 30 years, but it can occur at any age. It is most common in women, but it can affect men as well.
The cause of FMN remains unknown. There are several theories, including viral infections, autoimmune disorders and tumors. The exact causes of FMN are not fully understood; however, there is evidence suggesting that FMN may result from damage to the nerves that supply blood vessels to the feet and legs.
Symptoms of FMN include:
Weakness or numbness in one or both legs.
Difficulty walking without assistance.
Pain in your lower back, buttocks, groin, foot and leg when standing up straight.
You might experience some of these symptoms even if you do not have FMN. If you feel any of these symptoms, please see a doctor immediately!
Nerves are surrounded by a layer of fluid that acts as a barrier against bacteria and other foreign objects. If the protective layer is damaged, it may lead to an infection of the nerve. The infection of the nerve is called “neuropathy” and can occur due to several reasons.
Injury is one of the most common causes of nerve damage. Car accidents, falls, bike accidents and sports injuries are common causes of nerve damage. In addition if the wound is deep (such as a gunshot or knife wound), it may also damage the nerve fibers.
Tumors can also cause damage to the protective layer around the nerve fibers, leading to a risk of infection. For this reason, it is very important to seek immediate medical attention if you notice any changes in your sensory or motor functions after an injury.
There are several treatments for FMN. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your condition. It is important to note that treatment can only prevent further nerve damage – once the damage has been done, it cannot be reversed.
However, it is possible to live a relatively normal life after FMN with the help of assistive devices and physical therapy.
Surgeries are aimed at removing tumors and correcting the cause of the original injury. Physical therapy after a surgery helps prevent muscle atrophy and encourages the regrowth of healthy nerve tissue. In addition, certain medications such as anticonvulsants and local steroids may be used to treat the symptoms of FMN.
If you have been diagnosed with FMN, it is important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and a positive mental attitude can greatly improve your quality of life!
Since there is no known cure for FMN, the only available treatment is prevention. Several steps can be taken to prevent FMN from developing or progressing. These steps include:
Wear protective gear when engaging in potentially dangerous physical activity. This includes helmets for cyclists, swimmers, skateboarders, and inline skaters; knee and elbow pads for skateboarders and cyclists; and other padding for various sports.
Make sure your tetnus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) immunizations are up-to-date.
Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands before eating. Clean any cuts or scrapes immediately.
Avoid walking barefoot.
If you experience any change in sensation (such as tingling, burning, or numbness) in your feet or legs, see a doctor immediately.
Sources & references used in this article:
Postoperative femoral neuropathy. by C Walsh, A Walsh – Surgery, gynecology & obstetrics, 1992 – europepmc.org
Femoral neuropathy—a neurological complication of hysterectomy by J Rosenblum, GA Schwarz, E Bendler – Jama, 1966 – jamanetwork.com
The natural history of diabetic femoral neuropathy by SW Coppack, PJ Watkins – QJM: An International Journal of …, 1991 – academic.oup.com
Femoral neuropathy and anticoagulants. by WC Butterfield, RJ Neviaser, MP Roberts – Annals of surgery, 1972 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Femoral neuropathy subsequent to abdominal hysterectomy. A comparative study by JA Goldman, D Feldberg, D Dicker, N Samuel… – European Journal of …, 1985 – Elsevier
Femoral neuropathy during anticoagulant therapy by MR Young, JW Norris – Neurology, 1976 – AAN Enterprises
Femoral neuropathy in hemophilia by TD BROWER, AH WILDE – JBJS, 1966 – journals.lww.com