The furcal nerve revisited

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Nanjundappa S. Harshavardhana *
Harshad V. Dabke
(*) Corresponding Author:
Nanjundappa S. Harshavardhana |


Atypical sciatica and discrepancy between clinical presentation and imaging findings is a dilemma for treating surgeon in management of lumbar disc herniation. It also constitutes ground for failed back surgery and potential litigations thereof. Furcal nerve (Furcal = forked) is an independent nerve with its own ventral and dorsal branches (rootlets) and forms a link nerve that connects lumbar and sacral plexus. Its fibers branch out to be part of femoral and obturator nerves in-addition to the lumbosacral trunk. It is most commonly found at L4 level and is the most common cause of atypical presentation of radiculopathy/sciatica. Very little is published about the furcal nerve and many are unaware of its existence. This article summarizes all the existing evidence about furcal nerve in English literature in an attempt to create awareness and offer insight about this unique entity to fellow colleagues/ professionals involved in spine care.

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