[Misleading "hip" or buttock pain: proximal arteritis or lumbar spinal stenosis?]

Presse Med. 2006 Apr;35(4 Pt 2):663-8. doi: 10.1016/s0755-4982(06)74660-7.
[Article in French]


Proximal arterial stenosis (bifurcation of the aortic, common iliac and especially hypogastric or hip arteries) can cause misleading 'hip' or buttock pain (two thirds of these cases involve the area of the trochanter, groin, or thigh). Their essential characteristic is that they cause patients to stop walking, improve in a minute or two and reappear when the patient starts walking again. Neither articular complications nor periarthritis of the hip fit this pattern, and physical examination and imaging exclude them. Neurogenic intermittent claudication is more difficult to rule out: it is 'often accompanied by paresthesia and anteflexion of the trunk to relieve the pain. A radiologic image of lumbar canal stenosis alone does not indicate that it is responsible for the pain: the stenosis may be asymptomatic and only fortuitously associated with the pain. The usual reduction in femoral pulse or ankle pressure index is absent if the stenosis is located on the hypogastric or gluteal artery and there is not substantial damage to the aorta-iliac axis. Arterial stenosis is confirmed by Doppler ultrasound. Arteriography is an examination performed during treatment, to guide angioplasty. It is indicated when medical treatment fails, as it frequently does.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiography
  • Angioplasty, Balloon
  • Aorta, Abdominal
  • Aortic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / complications
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / surgery
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases* / therapy
  • Arteritis / diagnosis
  • Buttocks
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endarterectomy
  • Female
  • Hip
  • Humans
  • Iliac Artery
  • Intermittent Claudication / diagnosis
  • Intermittent Claudication / etiology
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Spinal Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler