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Dr. Tollestrup Removes Patient’s Piriformis Muscle to Eliminate Chronic Pain

Sciatica Pain Gone After Dr. Tollestrup Removes Piriformis Muscle

Sharon’s sciatica pain relieved by nerve surgery

Sharon came to see Dr. Tollestrup for evaluation of severe, chronic sciatica pain involving the the back of her left thigh which is where the piriformis muscle is located. This pain started five years ago.

Over time the pain has become progressively worse to the point where she can no longer go for walks, which she loves doing, or ride her bike. More recently, it has even become difficult to bear any weight at all on the left leg due to the severe pain. Sitting in a car for long periods is one of the worst things she can do as this really makes the pain go crazy.

MRI imaging of Sharon’s low back did not show any evidence of impingement of compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots, ruling out the back as the source of the problem.

On physical examination, Sharon showed classic evidence of a left piriformis syndrome which is entrapment of the big sciatic nerve between part of the bony pelvis and a small muscle called the piriformis muscle, hence the name of the syndrome.

Dr. Tollestrup took Sharon to the operating room and decompressed the sciatic nerve by removing the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is a “spare part” so to speak. Removing it does not affect the patient’s ability to move or use the leg in any way.

At Sharon’s one week follow-up appointment after surgery, all of her original “sciatica” pain was gone and she was only experiencing mild pain from surgical procedure itself. Before surgery, she said that her pain was so bad that she would be awake most of the night in severe pain. Now she is sleeping right through the night again and is not longer chronically fatigued.

Piriformis syndrome is a common condition that is almost always overlooked. Most of the “sciatica” pain out there that cannot be explained by a problem with nerve compression at the level of the lumbar spine, or low back, comes from compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle. Even when the diagnosis is correctly made, most doctors and physical therapists are unaware of the fact that there is a very effective surgical solution for patients who do not respond to conservative management like physical therapy, etc.

Here is what Sharon had to say about the experience*.

“It was so easy and simple.  Pain was so minimal and I was up and around immediately.  I could not get over the almost no pain!  It is very safe and easy.  Now, 2 months later, I am at 95% +.  I have absolutely no nerve pain at all.  It was just something that had to be done!!

Thanks Dr. Tollestrup!!!  The Dr. has a great staff in his office.  You can’t go wrong!  Sharon W.”


We do not guarantee any specific results or outcomes for surgery, should our practice work on your behalf. Information on this website may be used as a reference for successes we’ve achieved for our patients, and not as an assurance or guarantee for similar results in all instances.

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