Hip nerve pain

The hip is a common site for nerve pain to develop when a degenerative spine condition begins to affect the lower back. This is because the hip is located near the sciatic nerve, which originates in the lumbosacral region of the spine (lower back) and is the largest and widest nerve in the body.

As the sciatic nerve travels down the length of the leg, it passes through an opening in the pelvis known as the sciatic notch, which is adjacent to a muscle called the piriformis. Nerve compression can occur if the piriformis muscle becomes inflamed, pinching the sciatic nerve. This is known as piriformis syndrome and is more common among women than men, although competitive runners of either gender are susceptible.

Other causes of hip nerve pain

Piriformis syndrome produces lower back pain or radiating symptoms that are similar to sciatica. However, sciatic nerve compression caused by inflammation of the piriformis muscle is not quite the same as true sciatica, in which a degenerative condition in the lumbar spine leads to compression of the sciatic nerve. The degenerative conditions that can cause sciatica and possible hip nerve pain include:

  • Spinal arthritis — degeneration of facet joints, where vertebrae meet and hinge
  • Osteophytes — bone spurs usually caused by spinal osteoarthritis
  • Bulging disc — protrusion of a section of the outer wall of a disc beyond its normal boundary
  • Herniated disc — extrusion of the gel-like nucleus material of a disc through a tear or crack in the disc’s outer wall
  • Spondylolisthesis — slippage of one vertebra over another, which can be caused by traumatic injury or degeneration

Treating hip nerve pain

The symptoms associated with sciatica, including debilitating hip pain, typically can be managed using pain medication, exercise, stretching and other conservative treatment methods.

However, if chronic hip nerve pain continues after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery may become an option. If your doctor recommends spine surgery to help treat your hip nerve pain, contact Laser Spine Institute. We offer minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery^. For many of our patients with hip nerve pain, a decompression surgery is the most appropriate treatment. However, some patients with severe pain or damage may require a stabilization surgery.

One of the reasons our minimally invasive spine surgery offers a lower risk of complication and shorter recovery time^ than traditional open back surgery is because we do not tear the muscles surrounding the spine during surgery. These muscles are often cut and detached during traditional open back surgery, increasing a patient’s risk of developing excessive scar tissue and prolonging the recovery time.

To learn more about the minimally invasive spine procedures we offer, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can review your MRI report or CT scan and help you find the best treatment option for your hip nerve pain.