Leg and hip pain: Possible lumbar radiculopathy

Patient

Q: Can a broken hip injury I had 10 years ago cause my Sciatica? The pain I experience is from my hip and runs down my leg. (only in the leg witch had the borken hip). I only experience the flare ups during extreem cold weather.

Doctor

A:    The pain with the location, radiation and characteristics that you described might be due to a  nerve compression and is not likely that is caused by the past injury ten years ago. In the younger patients, lumbar radiculopathy may be a result of a disc herniation or an acute injury causing impingement of an exiting nerve. In the older patient, cervical radiculopathy is often a result of spinal canal narrowing from bone (osteophyte) formation, decreased disc height and degenerative changes due to aging process. The treatment strategy usually includes: a physical therapy program aimed to reduce pain and inflammation, and the use of anti-inflammatory medication (Aleve, Motrin), also a re-education of your habits and posture to improve quality of life. You should be independent in a stretching and strengthening program and continue with these exercises under the periodic supervision of a physical therapist initially and then completely on your own.

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