The Nature of Radicular Pain and Related Conditions

  • Jan T. WilminkEmail author


Sciatica, or pain in the distribution of the sciatic nerve due to a condition afflicting the nerve itself, is a fairly common occurrence with a yearly incidence of 1–5% (Frymoyer 1988). Clinical descriptions of sciatica go back to the times of Hippocrates and Cotugno, and the etiology of this affliction has puzzled medical practitioners for equally long. Much is still unclear.

In the course of the twentieth century, surgical techniques and insights improved to a degree in which sciatica was transformed from a symptom related to a “rheumatic” condition causing inflammation of the sciatic nerve to a symptom which could be relieved by an operation. In 1934, Mixter and Barr published their report on “Rupture of the intervertebral disc with the involvement of the spinal canal”. The “dynasty of the disc” had begun!


Sciatic Nerve Nerve Root Disc Herniation Annulus Fibrosus Lumbar Spinal Stenosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. RadiologyUniversity Hospital MaastrichtMaastrichtNetherlands

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