Sciatic neuropathy

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By Thy Nguyen MD and Kazim Sheikh MD

Sciatic neuropathy is also known as or subsumes Sciatic mononeuropathy and Sciatic nerve injury. -ed.

Sciatic neuropathy is an important consideration in the patient with foot drop. Important causes of this mononeuropathy include total hip arthroplasty, unusual forms of leg or buttock compression, neoplastic infiltration, and a heterogeneous group of other disorders. In this update, Drs. Thy Nguyen and Kazim Sheikh of the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center summarize new data regarding diagnostic modalities and reported etiologies of 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 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 subtly involved on clinical examination.