Lumbosacral Plexopathy

Lumbosacral plexopathy is a relatively rare peripheral nerve problem that results from injury to the lumbar or sacral plexuses.  These are interwoven networks of nerves arising from nerve roots in the lumbar spine or the pelvis, respectively.  Plexus injury can result from diabetes, tumor, radiation and obstetrical injury.

The symptoms of lumbosacral plexopathy depend on the underlying cause and the individual nerves affected.  Symptoms can include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness or hypersensitivity.  These symptoms do not differ significantly from those associated with peripheral nerve injuries.

The disorder can be difficult to diagnose.  In order for a diagnosis of lumbosacral radiculopathy to be made, it must be shown that the problem is not the result of injury to a single peripheral nerve or nerve root.  Electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) are used to identify the involvement of the plexus, as well as to identify the exact nerve root structures that are affected.  Imaging studies, including CT, MRI or pelvic ultrasound can aid the diagnostic process.

Treatment can be directed at nerve pain and inflammation, but is largely determined by the underlying cause.