Superior cluneal nerve entrapment is hard to diagnose and is often misdiagnosed as sciatica.
If you are experiencing pain in low back and buttock, it may be related to a problem with a nerve. The nerve may be the sciatic nerve, which is located fairly low on the body beneath the tailbone and hip socket. Or it may be the cluneal nerve, which is located outside the spot where the tailbone and hip bone come together.
Okay, so two different nerves in two different spots. So far, so good.
But brace yourself for another unusual word: the cluneal nerve travels through an osseofibrous (we warned you!) tunnel. That tunnel is not unlike the carpal tunnel in the wrist and the cluneal nerve is not unlike the median nerve. That is to say: just like the median nerve can get squeezed in the carpal tunnel, the cluneal nerve can get squeezed in its osseofibrous tunnel.
The result is easy to understand: pain.
It’s All About Location
We’ve noted the different locations of the sciatic nerve and the cluneal nerve. Those different locations mean they can cause pain in different parts of the body. Sciatica generally involves pain in the lower part of the buttock radiating down the back of the leg. Superior cluneal nerve entrapment generally involves pain in the lower back through the buttock—but not into the leg.
Let’s Talk About Ablation
Surgical ablation of the superior cluneal nerve is the preferred treatment. Ablation is a fancy way to say that a surgeon will go in and remove excess branches of the cluneal nerve that are being pinched in the osseofibrous tunnel.
Get the Right Diagnosis and Clarity About Treatment
We understand that just reading this FAQ may have given you a headache—so here’s the long and short: if you are having pain in your posterior, you need to get the right diagnosis so that you can get the correct treatment. Dr. Eric H. Williams can diagnose the specific cause of your pain and explain the best course of action to correct the problem. Contact us today so that we can get started putting a stop to your pain.