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  • Updated 04.24.2020
  • Released 11.21.1997
  • Expires For CME 04.24.2023

Sciatic neuropathy

Introduction

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.

Overview

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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