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Kirkland, WA
A 41-year-old female asked about a 39-year-old female:

how can u differentiate between sciatica pain & piriformis synrome? pain above & down left buttock & leg hurts to stand sit lay

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bert Liang
Specializes in Neurology
Inclusive: Piriformis syndrome causes pain because of sciatic nerve impingement. Both true sciatica - sciatic neuropathy, and piriformis syndrome - can be evaluated by physical exam, as well as by imaging and electrodiagnostic testing. These disorders are uncommon, but must be differentiated from a plexopathy or radiculopathy.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Exam, studies, injec: It can be hard and piriformis syndrome as a diagnosis is likely often missed. Physical exam can help, a nerve conduction with the hip in neutral verses internal rotation can tell, response to injection into piriformis is most diagnostic. Also seeing a patient with severe pain running down the leg with a normal looking MRI of lumbar suggests something else like piriformis syndrome might be issue.

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Last updated Sep 2, 2020

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