Pain Management Specialist Questions Sciatica

Is my mother's leg pain sciatica or something else?

My mother has been complaining of a severe leg pain that arises from her hips all the way down upto her calf muscles. While this seems like a sciatica, could it also be something else?

6 Answers

“Sciatica” is a very broad term that just means nerve pain in the leg. There are a number of causes for this type of pain that can come from spinal nerve compression, muscle spasms, or joint degeneration in the hips or pelvic bones. She will likely need to be examined to narrow down the source of the problem, and may need a CT scan or MRI.
It does sound like that, but she needs further testing to be sure.
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Sciatica is an inflammation of the L4, L5 and S1 rootles. It can span all tree BUT it is unusual. In other words one would see L5, S1 or just L5 on one side only rarely all three. If your mother is of advanced age and has cardiovascular risk factors a number of other causes of pain should be ruled out. Doing ankle/ brachial blood pressure measurements et. I always recommend scheduling an appointment with a Pain Medicine specialist or your PMD.
Best of Luck!
Yes, it can be something else. That's why we need to do a work-up for lumbar pain, as it could be anything from Hip Bursitis, Facet joint syndrome, Sacroiliac artropathy, Disc herniation, piriform syndrome, abnormal musculoskeletal sprain.
You should consult a pain management physician if pain is present more than 3 months or long-term narcotics.
It could be joint pain , facet pain or hip disease and should be evaluated by exam, X-rays and possibly MRI.
Sciatica is a non-specific term which is defined as pain in the leg so yes it is sciatica but may be from the hip, sacroiliac or facet joints or the lumbar spinal nerves.