Leg Pain

Dallas Spine Care

Robert J. Henderson, MD, FACS, FACSS

Spine Surgeon located in Dallas, TX

One of the most debilitating types of leg pain is caused by sciatica, which begins with a pinched nerve in your spine that sends sudden, sharp pain down your leg. However, sciatica isn’t the only spine-related reason for leg pain. Robert J. Henderson, MD, at Dallas Spine Care, provides exceptional care for leg pain that originates from many spine conditions. If leg pain puts a halt to walking or other activities, call the office in Dallas or schedule an appointment online.

Leg Pain Q & A

What causes leg pain?

Leg pain is a symptom of many possible health problems, ranging from an acute injury to overuse or stress injuries, and degenerative changes that develop slowly over the years. The causes of leg pain are broadly categorized as:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions, such as fractures, joint injuries, sprains, and strains
  • Inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis
  • Vascular conditions, such as peripheral artery disease, chronic venous insufficiency, and deep vein thrombosis

Leg pain is also frequently caused by neurological conditions that occur in your spine. Although these conditions are better known for causing back pain, many affect your legs. You may even develop leg pain from a problem in your spine without feeling significant pain in your back.

What spinal conditions lead to leg pain?

When your leg pain is caused by a neurological condition originating in your spine, it’s called radiculopathy, which refers to nerve damage or compressed nerves. 

Any spinal condition that causes radiculopathy can lead to leg pain. When nerves in the spine are damaged, symptoms such as pain, tingling, and numbness travel along the nerve and radiate down your leg.

These are examples of the most common spinal problems responsible for leg pain:

  • Sciatica: caused by a pinched sciatic nerve
  • Bone spurs: often caused by arthritis or degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis: narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Degenerative disc disease: discs weaken and collapse
  • Herniated disc: inner gel-like substance pushes out through weakened disc wall
  • Facet joint osteoarthritis: cartilage degeneration in the spinal joints
  • Spondylolisthesis: vertebra slips forward and out of alignment

Changes that naturally occur in soft tissues supporting your spine, such as thickened ligaments, can also cause radiculopathy.

How is leg pain treated?

Dr. Henderson is an expert at treating chronic leg pain caused by all spine-related problems, not just sciatica. 

When evaluating your leg pain, he considers the signs and symptoms of many possible conditions, including ruling out problems that originate in your legs rather than your spine.

Your treatment depends on the cause and severity of your pain, but it begins with the most conservative therapies. A conservative regimen might include steroid injections, physical therapy, and medications to reduce inflammation and pain. 

If your leg pain doesn’t improve, Dr. Henderson can talk with you about surgical procedures to repair the underlying spinal problem. In many cases, patients need decompression surgery or a discectomy to repair a herniated disc.

To get relief from ongoing leg pain, call Dallas Spine Care or schedule an appointment online.