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Sciatica caused by Piriformis caused by Broken Foot


i am new to the boards. hopefully my post will meet the requirements. ive searched and googled and can find very little on a cause of sciatica such as mine.

in march 2015 i suffered a displaced complex fracture of the 5th metarsal and a sprained ankle when i fell off a kerb.

i had open reduction/ internal fixation with a temporary kwire on the metatarsal within 5 days of the accident. i was in a cast, non weight bearing on crutches for 12 weeks. then in an air cast for 2. then i started to walk with a limp and the limp resolved around mid july 2015. note my x rays still show non union of the fracture, my foot and ankle swell significantly if not elevated, but the orthopaedic surgeon told me to walk on it and come back in october 2015 for a check up.

around mid july when i resolved the limp, a nagging pain in my right hip which id had since ''cocking' my right leg on the crutches to keep it off the ground gradually became more severe.

i found i was in pain after sitting and trying to walk, so much so that often i couldn't walk at all for several minutes due to the pain, after pushing through say 15 steps in which it felt like my hip was becoming detached from my leg it would ease and i d have no pain. i had pain in my buttock and back of my thigh, only on right side.

lying then also became painful but again gradual walking would help .

i went to a chiropractor who x rayed and said i had facet syndrome and she wanted me to have 12 appts of adjustments. i never went back.

i next went to a primary care doctor . he diagnosed pirifromis syndrome by doing physical tests on flexion etc , gave me tinzanidine 4 mg and an anti inflammatory and told me to see an ortho doctor. i took aleve and tylenol for the pain. i scheduled an apt for thursday aug 13th with ortho as first opening for them.

as of last friday the pain in my buttock and upper thigh became more severe and my buttock muscles appeared to me to be in a spasm which wouldn't ease even with walking. stretching was out of the question due to the pain. the only thing i could do was stand, at a slightly bent angle which after several days became exhausting.

so on monday i went to the er. he gave me
soma 350 mg
diclofenac (sorry dont have dosage with me)
percocet 10 mg
tapered prednisone over 3 weeks
and an anaesthetic shot into my hip (which did nothing)

last night was awful but as of this afternoon im starting to feel some relief if i walk or lay on my front. back to work tomorrow so will be sat but will try to stand every 20 minutes.

my questions are;

has anyone else experienced such symptoms with sciatica caused by pirifomis in which activity makes it better not worse? so many people with pirifromis appear to be athletes/ runners for whom activity makes it worse? generally walking it off is the only thing that helps when it gets bad

i'f my muscle is tight due to poor gait related to my broken foot, or muscle atrophy due to non weight bearing, again any thoughts on why walking makes it better?

what should i be asking the ortho doctor at my appt on thursday? let's say this cocktail of drugs from the er continues to work, what then?

has anyone else developed pirifomis and then sciatica in the leg following a trauma to the foot?

thanks and sorry this is long.

welcome to spine-health
please click on link for helpful information!
~ spine-moderator, savage


  • CherylCCCherylC Posts: 199
    edited 08/13/2015 - 3:06 AM
    My husband has a leg length discrepancy and is supposed to wear a heel raiser to correct his gait. He often "forgets" and always ends up paying for his forgetfulness with Piriformis Syndrome. He is in his 60's and has had the problem since he broke his leg 40 years ago so he has a bone spur or two just to add to the mix.

    He finds that going for a walk tends to loosen him up and so regularly takes our small, but ageing, pooch for a walk around the block. Every now and then, however, the muscle spasms and won't let go. It pulls him out of shape and traps a nerve. When this happens, no amount of walking helps. When it gets that bad I make a couple of appointments for him with the physiotherapist. I also make him rest and use heat packs to ease the spasm.

    He refuses to see the doctor about it, preferring to just "grin and bear it". I think it's because he doesn't want to hear any possibility of him needing spinal surgery of any sort. He's pretty gun shy because he has watched me go through a pretty rough time and watched me loose my mobility bit by bit due to unexpected complications with back surgery.

    Piriformis Syndrome is painful especially when it spasms. I know - I have been there too. It might be worthwhile seeing whether a physiotherapist could help you by giving you some specific stretches that will help it to release it.
  • BriwebBBriweb Posts: 1
    edited 08/15/2015 - 9:09 PM
    i'm sorry to hear about your pain, it's so frustrating when one injury ends up causing another and so forth. but i can tell you that i'm going through the same thing, so don't fear you aren't alone! i suffered a lis franc injury in may 2014 and have since been recovering through many many trials and tribulations. because my walking gait was different for ten months when i had hardware in my foot, i suffered a hamstring injury which has since turned into pirifformis muscle getting tight and knotted, and [edit] off my sciatic nerve. i have been attempting fasciial releases on the muscle, stretching the it band and hip flexor, and will begin strengthening my legs and especially my glutes once i can fully weight bear again. i feel your pain, and best of luck to you!

    please click on link for helpful information
    welcome to spine-health
    liz -spine-health moderator
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