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Sciatica
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Sciatica

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Contributors: Carolyn Zyloney MD, Jamie Adams MD, Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
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Synopsis

Sciatica is pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve from the low back into the buttocks and posterolateral part of the leg. Pain ranges in quality from mild tingling to dull aching to sharp shooting pains. There may be associated numbness and weakness in the affected leg.

Sciatica is another name for lumbar radiculopathy. It is a common condition with a lifetime prevalence of approximately 5%-10%, with a peak incidence between the ages of 45 and 64. Risk factors for the development of sciatica include obesity, taller height, smoking, and occupational factors including jobs that involve frequent lifting or driving.

About 85% of cases are due to lumbosacral disk herniation compressing a nerve root, most commonly at L4-L5 or L5-S1. Other causes include spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, cauda equina syndrome, compression by pelvic tumors, trauma, and piriformis syndrome.

Sciatica usually resolves without treatment, with 75% of patients reporting improvement within 3 months. First-line therapy is conservative management including analgesic medication and physical therapy. Surgical interventions are typically reserved for patients with weakness or refractory pain.

Codes

ICD10CM:
M54.30 – Sciatica, unspecified side

SNOMEDCT:
23056005 – Sciatica

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Last Reviewed: 10/24/2018
Last Updated: 11/06/2018
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Sciatica
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Sciatica : Low back pain, Hyporeflexia, Buttock pain
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