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Pain Research and Management
Volume 6, Issue 4, Pages 200-203
Case Report

Swelling of the Leg, Deep Venous Thrombosis and the Piriformis Syndrome

Sara Bustamante and Peter G Houlton

Department of Anaesthetics, St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey, Surrey, United Kingdom

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


BACKGROUND: The piriformis syndrome, which was first described 60 years ago, is a well recognized cause of sciatica, leg pain and low back pain, due to the entrapment of the sciatic nerve in the piriformis and other rotator muscles. Very few complications relating to this syndrome have been described.

AIMS: To discuss how the piriformis syndrome may cause venous engorgement in the lower limb, and how the piriformis syndrome should be included as a possible cause of acute deep venous thrombosis in a not initially swollen leg. Both complications can occur independently.

METHODS: Two cases of swelling of the leg and acute deep venous thrombosis independently associated with the piriformis syndrome are presented.

CONCLUSIONS: Swelling of the leg and deep venous thrombosis are possible complications of the piriformis syndrome that occur due to entrapment of nerves and vessels within the leg, secondary to a severe spasm and hypertrophy of the piriformis and other rotator muscles.