Sciatic neuropathy

Olivia Tong MD (

Dr. Tong of the University of California, Davis, has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Steven Herskovitz MD (Dr. Herskovitz of the Montefiore Medical Center has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.)
Randolph W Evans MD, editor. (

Dr. Evans of Baylor College of Medicine received honorariums from Allergan, Amgen, Biohaven, Lilly, and Novartis for speaking engagements.

Originally released November 21, 1997; last updated April 24, 2020; expires April 24, 2023

This article includes discussion of sciatic neuropathy, sciatic mononeuropathy, and sciatic nerve injury. The foregoing terms may include synonyms, similar disorders, variations in usage, and abbreviations.


Sciatic neuropathy is an important consideration in the patient with foot drop. Causes of this mononeuropathy include total hip arthroplasty, unusual forms of leg or buttock compression, neoplasms, and a heterogeneous group of other disorders. In this update, the authors summarize the clinical, etiologic, diagnostic, and management issues regarding sciatic neuropathy.

Key points


• Sciatic neuropathy is a recognized complication of hip procedures (particularly total hip arthroplasty), hip fractures, and trauma.


• Partial sciatic nerve injuries often affect the fibular (peroneal) division out of proportion to the tibial division.


• Electrodiagnostic testing is crucial to evaluate for subclinical involvement of tibial innervated muscles in sciatic neuropathy, which may be only subtly involved on clinical examination.

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