Nerve Damage to Thighs Post Op?



Has anybody else experienced nerve damage to their thighs as a result of radical thrachelectomy & pelvic lymph node removal?


I had my surgery on 2 July 2014 and since waking from the anaesthetic I have had a bi-lateral loss of sensation and very painful thighs.  I am currently under the care of the pain clinic who are performing nerve blocks and we are now looking at radiofrequency ablation to manage the pain.


I wondered if anybody else has experienced such side effects and what treatment plan they had followed.  I am currently taking 200mg of Pregabalin 3 times a day to help mask the pain.  The tablets make me very tired and the pain is making me feel fed up.  Holding down a full time job is exhausting.  I am so lucky to now be cancer free but I am angry & upset that I am left in constant pain to the point where I cannot bare it for my fiance to touch my thighs.  I flinch away from his touch.  It is heartbreaking.



My GP has not been much help and wants to treat me for depression.  I don't feel I am depressed just really p*ssed off!  I want back the life I had 12 months ago.  I was happy, active and loving life.  I am angry the cancer has pulled the rug out from under me.  Getting on top of the pain will help me put last year behind me and I can get excited about the future.


Any help, advice or tips anyone could give me would be very much appreciated.  Thank you xx

Hi Helen,


Sorry you are experiencing this, but it is very common to have the genitofemoral branch of the femoral nerve stretched or damaged during the lymph node removal. both of the tops of my thighs remained very numb/sensitive for about a year, one of my legs is totally normal now almost two years later, but the other one still is slightly numb/sensitive when i touch it; definitely nowhere near as painful as it was in the beginning. Just try to be patient. If the nerve blocks work to alleviate the pain, the chances of the nerves being totally severed beyond repair are very low. Hope this helps! 

Thanks for your message.  I am glad to hear that your sensation is returning to normal and that your pain is greatly reduced.  It gives me hope :)

The consultant advised numbness at the tops of my thighs could happen I just didn't expect the numbess to be so extensive or the pain to be as bad as it is.  The pain clinic intend to do a femoral nerve block so if the nerve you are referring to is involved it could hopefully prove to be effective.

I know patience is needed but as Chris likes to remind me its not one of my strong points!


Yes a femoral nerve block will most certainly be effective in your case! I am an anesthesia provider as well, so I probably know too much which is why it is so frightening when the provider becomes a patient! The worst of the nerve pain lasted for approximately 6 months for me postoperatively, and started to slowly subside. The nerve pain that I still experience in my left leg is only when i scratch it...its a very strange sensation but completely bareable. Luckily, the nerve responsible for all the pain is only a sensory nerve, and not a nerve needed for muscle use, so dont worry about decreased strength or muscle atrophy. I hope the femoral nerve block helps! Gabapentin is also very good for nerve pain if the lyrica (pregablin) isn't cutting it