Lumbar radiculopathy is a syndrome of buttock/leg pain, weakness, and/or numbness/tingling caused by a pinched nerve in the back. Nerve compression in the back leads to pain in the legs. “Sciatica” is a common term used to describe the buttock/leg pains of lumbar radiculopathy. The leg pain from lumbar radiculopathy can be similar to leg pain from hip trochanteric bursitis, hip/knee arthritis, and piriformis syndrome.


Lumbar spinal nerves can become compressed by a lumbar disc herniation, bone spurs, or by spinal canal narrowing (lumbar spinal stenosis).


  • Low back and/or buttock pain
  • Shooting leg pain
  • Leg numbness and tingling
  • Leg weakness


Leg pain from lumbar radiculopathy is initially treated by medications, physical therapy, and/or injections. Surgery may be necessary if there is significant weakness or if conservative treatments fail.

Schedule an Appointment

Please call 984-974-6800 to schedule an imaging appointment at the UNC Hospitals Imaging Center or 984-974-4200 to schedule a clinic appointment at the UNC Hospitals Spine Center.  Referrals are not necessary

Fax: 984-974-6740

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