Meralgia Paresthetica Due to Body Armor Wear in U.S. Soldiers Serving in Iraq: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Baghdad, Iraq.
Military medicine (Impact Factor: 0.77). 07/2007; 172(6):663-5. DOI: 10.7205/MILMED.172.6.663
Source: PubMed


Meralgia paresthetica is a disorder of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve that results in symptoms of anterolateral thigh paresthesias and dysesthesias without associated loss of reflexes or motor weakness. Chronic meralgia paresthetica, not related to traumatic or lesion-producing compression of the nerve, is associated with obesity, pregnancy, tight-fitting garments, as well as specific duty uniform belts used by police officers and carpenters. Cases are presented in which two U.S. soldiers in Iraq experienced symptoms of meralgia paresthetica, most likely due to repetitive wear of protective body armor. Although use of protective body armor is proven to be lifesaving, modifications to improve current equipment may help to decrease morbidities such as meralgia paresthetica.

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    • "The nerve is considered vulnerable to entrapment as it is compressed against the anterior iliac spine when a waist belt , like that on a backpack , is tightened ( Boulware , 2003 ) . Recently , Fargo and Konitzer ( 2007 ) reported on two case studies of soldiers serving in Iraq , both of whom suffered meralgia due to prolonged wearing of body armour . In these two case studies , both soldiers still experienced symptoms a month after diagnoses . "
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