What causes sciatica?

UCSF Radiologist Dr. Hess describes what causes spinal disorders such as sciatica.
Radicular Pain
  • Many Causes
    • Discs
    • Bony spurts (osteophytes)
    • Scar (after surgery)
    • Sometimes other things
  • One or more nerve roots 
  • Locations
    • Within the spinal canal
    • Within the neural foramen
    • Extra-spinal

Sciatica describes the clinical syndrome of back pain that radiates down the leg or neck pain that radiates into the arms. 


Chair, Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging
Professor and Chair

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