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West J Med. 1976 Jun;124(6):435-9.

Piriform syndrome.


Among a variety of deep muscle trigger points, the piriform muscle trigger point is selected for individual scrutiny. This seems fully justified by the great potential for confusing this entity with discogenic disease and consequently having unnecessary surgical procedures carried out.The diagnosis can be made from findings on simple physical diagnostic tests and an appropriate history. Low back and hip pain with pain radiating down the back of the leg should suggest piriform syndrome as part of the differential diagnosis. This is especially true if a female patient has complaint of dyspareunia. Pain and weakness on resisted abduction-external rotation of the thigh is a sign of piriform syndrome. This is confirmed by tenderness and reproduction of the patient's complaints by digital pressure over the belly of the piriform muscle, completing the diagnostic criteria. Local injection of the muscle belly is curative. There are no laboratory or x-ray findings leading to a diagnosis.

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