Tollestrup Forumpiriformis muscle atrophied
Mary asked 3 weeks ago

My right piriformis muscle is atrophied from a fall in 2009 and it is causing my left to be enlarged. The two muscles have now caused si joint dysfunction. I was told by a Dr. that since the muscle is atrophied there is no way of healing it and that I am stuck with the pain and being stuck on the couch. Is there anything I can do to fix this problem? Thank you

Tim Tollestrup, MD Staff replied 3 weeks ago

Hi Mary,

Any time the piriformis muscle is injured and scars or atrophies, there is a high likelihood that the muscle will start to put pressure on the sciatic nerve. This can cause sciatica pain which can present as anything from isolated buttock pain to pain that radiates all the way down into the foot and anything in between. If you have a “piriformis syndrome” which is causing your sciatica pain, then removal of the piriformis muscle is a very effective way to resolve the problem. It is a relatively easy surgery to undergo for the patient as it is done on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to walk immediately. There are no long term ramifications to removing the piriformis muscle.

It is also unlikely that the injury to your right piriformis muscle is causing your left to become enlarged. Whatever size your left piriformis muscle is is most likely the size its always been. Injury to the right piriformis muscle could cause some of the other muscle on the right side that do the same type of thing to become enlarged because they have to pick up the slack for the injured piriformis muscle but it wouldn’t be likely to affect the left side.

Please call my office for an evaluation at your convenience.

Dr. T