Bilateral sciatic hernias in an elderly woman successfully managed with robotic surgery: A case report and literature review

Francine Zeng, Brian Shames, Elizabeth Appel, Niranjan Varalakshmi, Eric Mortensen, Narinder Maheshwari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Sciatic hernias are the rarest form of pelvic floor hernias as well as an uncommon cause of sciatica. A high index of suspicion is required to make the diagnosis due to its variable clinical presentation. This is the first case describing bilateral intestinal sciatic hernia, diagnosis, and robotic surgical repair. Presentation of case: A 77-year-old female with history of chronic back pain and diverticulitis presented with three weeks of abdominal pain, radiating down her legs bilaterally. Computed tomography (CT) revealed bilateral sciatic notch hernias without evidence of bowel obstruction. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed compression of the sciatic nerves within the sciatic notch bilaterally. She underwent robotic bilateral retroperitoneal sciatic notch hernia repair successfully. Discussion: There are several independent causes of abdominal pain and bilateral radiating leg pain. Sciatic hernias are an unusual cause of both. Aside from bowel, the hernia can involve other structures, such as the bladder, ureters, or ovaries, potentially creating drastically different clinical pictures. Laparoscopic or robotic repair have been proven superior to open surgery in the literature. Conclusion: This case demonstrates that bilateral sciatic hernias can present as uncomplicated sciatica in an elderly patient, but the addition of seemingly unrelated abdominal pain should warrant further investigation. Minimally invasive robotic repair can successfully treat sciatic hernias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106333
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilateral
  • Case report
  • Robotic
  • Sciatic hernia
  • Sciatica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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