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Back Pain vs. Hip Pain/Leg Pain

Hello guys!

I'm fairly new here, but I've posted a few times.

I have a herniation at L4-L5 causing sciatica and every fun thing that goes with it. I'm currently waiting for a surgery discectomy which will occur on August 25, so I am educating myself in the meantime.

There's a video on this website that explains that this type of surgery is more effective for people who have radiculopathy than for people who's primary concern is back pain. The doctor in the video goes on to describe radiculopathy as pain that radiates from the buttocks or hip down into the leg.

I am bit confused as to how to differentiate hip/buttocks pain  vs. back pain at this point. I know for sure is that the  pain radiates from my hip/buttocks/lower back, but that pain is way worse than the pain in my leg. Does that make me one of the people that my primary complaint is back pain, or is that considered to be radiculopathy?

I'm getting the surgery either way because the leg pain is  there  regardless and we'll at least take care of that part, but does that mean that I can expect my lower back pain to remain? Again, I hesitate to call it back pain. It's not in the middle of my back, I know it's nerve pain, but it's pretty high in my buttocks. It's pretty vague actually; I couldn't even pinpoint exactly where the pain comes from. 

As always, I'm looking forward to your responses.

Cheers from Canada!




  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526
    I wish I could give you an answer, but there is no one on this site that is a medical professional.   Your questions need to be addressed directly with your doctor for the best and formal answers
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • ShivayaSShivaya Quebec, CanadaPosts: 36
    I am not necessarily seeking medical advice here. I understand you or anyone here aren't doctors. I'm simply looking to link up with people who may have had similar experiences. It was my understanding that this is the purpose of this forum.
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  • ShivayaSShivaya Quebec, CanadaPosts: 36
  • Ellen625EEllen625 New Jersey, USPosts: 757
    Hi Shivaya 
    I had a large herniation at L5S1. My pain was never in my back but in my buttocks, thigh and calf.
    About 9 months ago, before this happened, I went to my doctor because I was feeling pain in the middle of my back. After my mri, she told me the issue was actually with my neck even though I felt it in my back.
    Perhaps you have a similar issue. Hopefully all of your pain disappears after your surgery.
    Good luck.

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