What neuropathies are common in pregnancy and childbirth
What neuropathies are commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth?
Prior to birth, carpal tunnel syndrome is the most commonly associated neuropathy.
Treatment is conservative with wrist splinting, and it commonly resolves within 3 months postpartum.
Meralgia paresthetica (numbness or dysesthesia of the anterolateral thigh due to compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve along the pelvic wall or obturator canal) occurs as the fetus enlarges, and also typically resolves within 3 months of delivery.
Bell’s palsy is seen with increased frequency in pregnant women.
Treatment with corticosteroids during pregnancy for the treatment of Bell’s palsy is still controversial.
Traumatic mononeuropathy usually occurs during childbirth.
Trauma involving the obturator nerve may result from compression by the fetal head, from misplaced forceps, or from hyperflexion in the lithotomy position.
Compression injuries during delivery have also been reported involving the femoral, saphenous, common peroneal, or sciatic nerves.
Postpartum footdrop is an interesting example of traumatic mononeuropathy with generally excellent prognosis, most typically observed in short primigravid women with large infants.