Case:Leg Pain 001

From WikiMSK

70 year old man with a one year history of exertional left lower limb pain, referred to you for consideration of a left hip corticosteroid injection.

The pain started a year ago insidiously. It is exertional in nature with no pain at rest. It comes on after 30 metres but it is inconsistent. The pain starts in the left anterior groin and lateral hip, and then gradually works its way around to the back of the thigh but not buttock, and down the lateral aspect of the leg and foot. The lower limb also getting progressively more numb, and by 100 metres he has pins and needles in his foot. If he rests then goes away after 5-10 minutes. Prolonged standing is normally ok. The pain comes on especially with hills but even walking around the supermarket he isn't able to manage now.

He been seeing a physiotherapist for the pain who has been giving him exercises and go him going on an exercise bike, but he finds the exercises uncomfortable. He finds he is walking less. It has gotten to the extent that can't do gym work anymore. He feels frustrated.

He does not have any current back pain. He has also been getting dystonia in the bilateral hands and fingers over the past few months. He has had an intentional weight loss of 10kg


  • Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidaemia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Coronary angiogram 3 years ago showing trivial coronary artery disease only
  • Gout


  • Aspirin 100mg daily
  • Dabigatran 150mg twice daily
  • Furosemide 40mg mane
  • Metoprolol 71.25mg daily
  • Lisinopril 40mg daily
  • Spironolactone 25mg daily
  • Atorvastatin 40mg daily
  • Allopurinol 300mg daily

Social history

  • He is still working at 70, retired 4 times. He does sedentary accountancy type work.
  • Ex-smoker
  • Gait normal
  • Spine range of motion grossly normal
  • No lower limb wasting, tone, power, reflexes, sensation normal
  • Slump test and straight leg raise negative
  • No tenderness over the lateral hip abductors
  • Mild left groin tenderness
  • Hips: Internal rotation 10 degrees, external rotation 30 degrees, equal bilaterally
  • Springing over L5/S1 segment causes shooting pains down the right leg (contralateral limb to symptoms)

The referring doctor previously organised the below x-ray of his pelvis and hips

Pelvis and Left Hip Radiograph Report

There is slight cartilage space narrowing posteromedially in both hips not associated with any marginal spur formation. Cartilage space is preserved superiorly. Remainder of the bony pelvis and the sacroiliac joints are normal.

You refer him for an MRI of his lumbar spine to query spinal stenosis

MRI Lumbar Spine Report
  • Five lumbar type vertebrae in normal alignment.
  • No central spinal canal stenosis
  • Mild disc disease with Schmorl's nodes are seen at L1/2 and L3/4 and L4/5. At L1/2 and L2/3 no focal disc protrusion neural compromise or foraminal narrowing is seen.
  • At L3/4 there is minor bulging of the disc annulus with a shallow left paracentral bulge but without neural compromise or foraminal narrowing there is mild facet disease.
  • At L4/5 left sided annular tear. There is left lateral recess stenosis with mild neural contact, but no neural compression. There are small facet effusions with mild facet disease.
  • At L5/S1 no focal disc protrusion neural compromise or foraminal narrowing is seen. There is moderate hypertrophic facet disease. No abnormal bone marrow or soft tissue oedema is seen.
  • The visualised SI joints are unremarkable.
  • Conclusion: L4/5 left lateral recess stenosis contacting the descending left L5 nerve root but no compression.

You bring him back in for a vascular examination and ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) measurement

Vascular examination

  • left side: unable to feel femoral, popliteal, DP or PT pulses
  • right side: weak femoral pulses, can't feel popliteal, weak DP and PT pulses
Right Left
Brachial 122 122
DP 110 96
PT 158 96
ABPI 1.29 0.78

You refer him to vascular surgery who organise an MRI angiogram

Leg pain case 001 MRI angiogram.png

MRI Angiogram Report
  • There is a critical stenosis of the left iliac artery bifurcation.
  • The iliac artery above and below this is normal although the internal iliac artery is diminutive.
  • The femoral and popliteal arteries are essentially normally in calibre apart from mild irregularity and stenosis in the mid left superficial femoral artery.
  • There is three vessel runoff to each calf.
  • The high grade left iliac bifurcation stenosis would be amenable to endovascular treatment.

Left distal CIA stenosis treated with 8mm Shockwave IVL and 9 x 59 Omnilink Elite stent

He is doing much better