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Sciatica/herniated Disc

Sciatica/herniated Disc is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Pain that radiates from the back into buttocks and lower extremity distal to knee, with or without sensory or motor deficits:
    • 95% sensitive, 88% specific for herniated disc (HD)
    • 3–5% lifetime prevalence
    • Peaks 4th to 5th decade
    • 2–10% of low back pain
    • 95% L5 or S1 nerve root
    • 90% improve with conservative management
    • Radicular symptoms usually resolve within 6 wk
    • 5–10% require surgery


  • Protrusion of colloidal gel (nucleus pulposus) through weakened surrounding fibrous capsule (annulus fibrosis)
  • Risk factors:
    • Smoking
    • Repetitive lifting/twisting
    • Vehicular/machinery vibration
    • Obesity
    • Sedentary lifestyle

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Sciatica/herniated Disc." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307695/all/Sciatica_herniated_Disc.
Sciatica/herniated Disc. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307695/all/Sciatica_herniated_Disc. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Sciatica/herniated Disc. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307695/all/Sciatica_herniated_Disc
Sciatica/herniated Disc [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307695/all/Sciatica_herniated_Disc.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Sciatica/herniated Disc ID - 307695 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307695/all/Sciatica_herniated_Disc PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -