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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2012, Article ID 142143, 3 pages
Case Report

Sciatica from a Foraminal Lumbar Root Schwannoma: Case Report and Review of Literature

Department of Orthopaedics, Topiwala National Medical College & B.Y.L. Nair Hospital, Mumbai 400008, India

Received 25 November 2011; Accepted 4 January 2012

Academic Editors: T. J. Huang and P. Lafforgue

Copyright © 2012 Tarush Rustagi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sciatica is commonly caused by lumbar prolapsed intervertebral disc (PID) and other spinal lesions. Uncommon causes like nerve root schwannoma are rarely considered in the differential diagnosis of sciatica. Spinal schwannomas occur both sporadically and in association with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1; von Recklinghausen's disease). This case report describes lumbar foraminal schwannoma as an unusual cause of radiculopathy, presenting clinically as a lumbar disc prolapse. The diagnosis was confirmed on MRI scan. Patient had complete symptomatic recovery following surgical enucleation of the tumour mass from the L5 nerve root. This case report is of particular interest as it highlights the diagnostic confusion, which is bound to arise, because the clinical presentation closely mimics a lumbar PID. This often leads to delay in diagnosis and “failure of conservative treatment.”