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Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Peripheral Nerve Block

Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve blocks are a minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment for chronic pain. These nerve blocks can help in the diagnosis of chronic hip/thigh pain. In addition, this pain management technique can also provide therapeutic relief by reducing pain signals originating from these nerves. If lasting benefit from the injection is acquired, the block may be repeated intermittently for therapeutic benefit. In some cases, one injection is all you will need.

How It Works

A lateral femoral cutaneous nerve block is performed either with the assistance of landmarks that can be easily felt by touch (palpation), or under imaging guidance (a live x-ray or ultrasound machine) to increase the accuracy of this procedure.

  • You will be asked to lie on your back.
  • Your abdomen, thigh, and groin will be cleaned with an antiseptic, and a sterile drape will be placed.
  • Your Center for Pain Management will direct a guide needle toward the intended target area.
  • A local anesthetic and sometimes a steroid called cortisone will be administered in close proximity to the nerve to block signals from reaching the brain.
  • The cortisone serves as an anti-inflammatory.
  • A dressing is placed over the place of needle entry after the procedure.


This procedure is safe. With any procedure, however, there are risks, side effects and possibility of complications. The most common side effect is temporary pain at the injection site. Other less common risks include bleeding, infection, or injection into blood vessels. Serious complications are uncommon. The use of ultrasound or x-ray guidance to provide visualization of the targeted structures significantly minimizes the risks.