JOURNAL ARTICLE

Piriformis muscle syndrome: an underdiagnosed cause of sciatica

Z Durrani, A P Winnie
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 1991, 6 (6): 374-9
1880438
This is a retrospective review of 26 patients with sciatica due to the piriformis muscle syndrome. Most patients had pain in the buttock area and sciatica, and most experienced difficulty walking and sitting, even for short periods of time. Reproduction of the sciatica upon deep palpation, either by gluteal or rectal route, was diagnostic. Reproduction of sciatica occurred in 92% of the patients upon deep digital palpation and in 100% of the patients upon rectal or pelvic examination. Other signs were helpful but not consistent. After the appropriate diagnosis, the treatment was relatively easy and rewarding. This study emphasizes that the diagnosis of piriformis muscle syndrome is clinical; without the appropriate clinical examination, it can be easily misdiagnosed.

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