Broad Differential Diagnosis:
The differential favored acute disc herniation causing L5 (vs S1) radiculopathy, via either a central/paracentral protrusion of the L4-L5 disc compressing the traversing L5 nerve, or a lateral/foraminal L5-S1 disc protrusion compressing the exiting L5 nerve. A disc herniation could be associated with spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, or vertebral compression fracture. Other mechanisms of L5 radiculopathy were less likely, such as infection, neoplasm, abscess, and vasculitis. A broad differential included other less likely etiologies such as spinal stenosis, lumbosacral plexopathy, gluteus medius tendinopathy (trochanteric bursitis), iliotibial syndrome, sciatic nerve lesion, meralgia paresthetica, and fibular neuropathy.
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