Femoral nerve dysfunction

Alternative Names

Neuropathy – femoral nerve; Femoral neuropathy

Definition of Femoral nerve dysfunction

Femoral nerve dysfunction is a loss of movement or sensation in the leg due to nerve damage.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The femoral nerve is located in the leg. It supplies the muscles that help straighten the leg. It provides feeling (sensation) to the front of the thigh and part of the lower leg.

Signs and tests

An exam of the nerves and muscles (neuromuscular exam) of the legs shows that the femoral nerve is not working well. You might have weakness when you straighten the knee or bend at the hip. Sensation changes are located on the front of the thigh and inner calf. The knee reflex may be decreased or absent. The quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh may be smaller than normal.


Your doctor will try to identify and treat the cause of the nerve damage. In some cases, no treatment is required and you’ll recover on your own. In that case, any treatment is aimed at increasing mobility and independence while you recover.

Expectations (prognosis)

If the cause of the femoral nerve dysfunction can be identified and successfully treated, it is possible to recover fully. In some cases, there may be partial or complete or sensation resulting in some degree of permanent disability.


David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 12/21/2009

Femoral nerve damage

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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