Chronic Sciatic Leg Pain

Added 16 Nov, 2018
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53 year old lady, with long standing history of low back pain and right leg pain. Previous history of L4/5 decompression with minimal benefit. Leg pain generally much worse than the back pain. Pain was mainly in the right L5 dermatome. She complained of constant pins and needles in the leg. Pain would be exacerbated by standing and walking. Her function was significantly limited by the leg pain. Sleep was also disturbed due to the leg pain.


The patient had seen various specialists in the past including physiotherapists, osteopaths, orthopaedic specialist and the Neurosurgical team. Her MRI scan should degenerative changes in the lower lumbar spine including the discs and the facet joints.

She was on a number of medications including Tramadol, Naproxen, Paracetamol and Amitriptyline. She had tried multiple nerve root blocks in the past but unfortunately they lasted only 4-6 weeks.


The patient saw Dr. Krishna at his private clinic in Bristol, desperate for some pain relief. Dr. Krishna diagnosed her of chronic sciatica secondary to nerve root irritation at the right L5 level. Dr. Krishna offered her pulsed radiofrequency ablation of the dorsal root ganglion at L5 level, performed under fluoroscopy guidance.

The patient responded very well to the injection treatment, with more than 90% reduction in pain within 4-6 weeks.


At the follow-up appointment 6 months after the injection treatment, the patient reported almost complete pain relief. She has managed to stop all her pain medications and was much more functional. She described her treatment as ‘life-changing’.

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