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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can carotid artery stenosis cause sciatica nerve pain ?

I was told that I am experiencing sciatica nerve pain; already diagnosed with blockage of carotid arteries and was told a piece of thrombus may have broken off and subsequently caused pressure on the sciatic nerve. Is this possible?
Sat, 12 Dec 2009
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A thrombus breaking off in your carotid artery will travel into your brain and cause a stroke. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve in your buttock region, formed by union of multiple nerves roots originating from the lumbar spine, and under normal physiologic conditions will not be affected in any way by a thrombus in the carotid artery. Sciatic nerve pain is usually caused by a compressive lesion (i.e. a disc herniation in the lumbar spine). In order for a thrombus to go from the carotid artery to the buttocks, it must first flow down your neck (against the flow of blood), into you aorta, and into your pelvis. Even then, it will not compress or cause "pressure" on anything since it will stay lodged inside a branch artery and obstruct it.
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