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Suggest remedy for severe pain in leg

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Posted on Fri, 11 Dec 2015
Question: My husband developed severe leg pain 1 week ago starting in the high buttock. The pain runs down the entire leg. He has had xrays and CT scan and nothing has been found. He is taking strong painkillers to make it bearable. Dr thinks it may eventually go away. Do you have any clues Thank You xxxxxx
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Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (26 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Sciatica is most likely the cause.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for using HCM.

I have read your question and understand your concerns.

First, is important to clarify if the pain goes down in the entire leg, or goes down passing in front, lateral or behind the leg like a band.

There is need to clarify also if there is swelling of the leg too.

If the pain goes down in a band-like fashion, most probably is related to herniated disc disease of the lumbar spine.

Small foraminal or extraforaminal herniations of the disc may be missed by CT scan.

MRI of lumbosacral spine is necessary also to complete the examinations.

Another possibility if the pain follows a band-like fashion distribution, is pinched or compressed ischiadic nerve ( sciatica ) during his way.

Nerve conduction study could differentiate this possibility.

If there is pain that includes all the leg and/or swelling too, vascular disease of the leg such thrombosis eg. should be considered.

Doppler ultrasound is a simple diagnostic test to evaluate this possibility.

In case of sciatica or herniated disc disease, physical therapy for one month is indicated besides the painkillers.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Greetings.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho (44 minutes later)
Many thanks for your answer. I have some more information..men can be difficult to spell it out.!! My husband has always been 65kilos very thin and being a farmer very active. The pain starts near centre of buttock goes down the inside of the leg to the knee and then continues to the right side of the leg on the outside shin bone. There is no swelling anywhere. The CT scan did show normal degeneration of lower spine consistant with his age. I believe it is sciatica and agree that physical therapy will help.He is also taking anti inflammatory tablets. Hoping this bit more information may give you a closer clue to what it is.
Cheers xxxxxxxxx
doctor
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (6 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Sciatica.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back XXXXXXX and thanks for the additional info.

In this case, it is not a vascular condition, it is a pinched nerve the cause of your husband's symptoms, most likely S1 nerve root.

Nerve conduction study and EMG are simple diagnostic tests that can identify if there is some compression of the nerve during its pathway.

In my opinion, the problem is most probably located at spinal cord at the exit of the nerve root.

I think physical therapy will ease your husband's symptoms.

Consider and lumbosacral spine MRI by discussing with your husband's primary care Doctor.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Sonia Raina
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Answered by
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Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 4327 Questions

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Suggest remedy for severe pain in leg

Brief Answer: Sciatica is most likely the cause. Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for using HCM. I have read your question and understand your concerns. First, is important to clarify if the pain goes down in the entire leg, or goes down passing in front, lateral or behind the leg like a band. There is need to clarify also if there is swelling of the leg too. If the pain goes down in a band-like fashion, most probably is related to herniated disc disease of the lumbar spine. Small foraminal or extraforaminal herniations of the disc may be missed by CT scan. MRI of lumbosacral spine is necessary also to complete the examinations. Another possibility if the pain follows a band-like fashion distribution, is pinched or compressed ischiadic nerve ( sciatica ) during his way. Nerve conduction study could differentiate this possibility. If there is pain that includes all the leg and/or swelling too, vascular disease of the leg such thrombosis eg. should be considered. Doppler ultrasound is a simple diagnostic test to evaluate this possibility. In case of sciatica or herniated disc disease, physical therapy for one month is indicated besides the painkillers. Hope you found the answer helpful. Let me know if I can assist you further. Greetings.