In the United States each year, 1.5 million people have lumbar MRI scans to look for the cause of the buttock and leg pain called "sciatica."




 Many people diagnosed with "sciatica" - pain that runs from their buttocks to their feet - may actually have piriformis syndrome. Dr. Aaron Filler explains the key differences between these two afflictions, their respective treatments, and how piriformis syndrome can be alleviated with open-MR guided injections as opposed to painful, invasive back surgery.

Yet more than 1.2 million of those scans fail to find the cause in the spine. Three hundred thousand of the scans are sufficiently positive that the patient has lumbar spine surgery. And of the 300,000 surgeries, as many as 25% fail to relieve the pain — in many cases because the diagnosis of a spinal cause for the sciatica was incorrect.

Piriformis syndrome also causes sciatica. Its treatment is much less invasive and severe than the treatment of herniated lumbar disks. However, many doctors never consider piriformis syndrome as a possible diagnosis. Many physicians who are aware of it are uncertain how to properly diagnose and treat it.

Dr. Aaron Filler credits the advent of MR Neurography and Open MR injection techniques with new large-scale outcome as leading to the successful diagnosis and treatment of many more sciatica sufferers.

There are many diagnoses and treatments of piriformis syndrome. Please click on any of the links included in the Information, Diagnosis and Treatment sections to learn more about individualized cases from the files of Dr. Filler.


Piriformis Syndrome Information
Piriformis Syndrome Diagnosis
Piriformis Syndrome Treatment
Anatomy of Piriformis Muscle and Sciatic Nerve
Physical Exam Findings and Key Symptoms
Image Anatomy for Injections

MR Neurography Image Findings in Piriformis Syndrome
Open MRI Guided Injection of the Piriformis Muscle
Outpatient minimally invasive surgical treatment