A bulging disc in the spinal column can trigger a condition known as sciatica. Sciatica occurs when pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, to the buttocks and down the back of each leg.
A bulging disc that triggers sciatica is located in the lumbar region, or lower back area, of the spinal column. The vertebrae in this region, which extends from the waist to the hips, are referred to as L1-L5 (in some individuals, L6 exists too).
The vertebrae in the lumbar region (and all along the entire spinal column) are cushioned by intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers. Sometimes, these discs degenerate or become damaged due to the normal process of aging or due to injury. When the discs are damaged, they can weaken and develop bulges. These bulges, or protrusions, can put pressure on spinal nerves, and this can result in pain and discomfort at the location of the bulging disc or in other parts of the body.
When a lumbar bulging disc puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, the pain and discomfort often travels, or radiates, from the lower back to the buttocks, the legs, and even to the soles of the feet. That’s because the sciatic nerve is responsible for controlling the muscles in the back of the leg and sending signals of sensation to the buttocks, thighs, the lower leg, and the feet.
Traditionally, severe cases of sciatica have been relieved with open-back surgery to remove the disc altogether. This type of surgery usually involves general anesthesia and, typically, an extensive recovery period as well as the risks that go along with hospitalization and surgery. But, Laser Spine Institute (LSI) now offers alternative treatments to relieve your sciatica symptoms. Our minimally invasive endoscopic bulging disc treatments include:
- Percutaneous endoscopic discectomy
If your doctor has confirmed that a bulging disc in your spinal canal is causing sciatica symptoms, then you may want to consult with the medical experts at LSI before electing traditional open-back surgery. Our outpatient procedures are so gentle many patients are walking within hours of the treatment and quickly return to their normal activities. So, if you are suffering from sciatica and you’d like a treatment that is safe and effective, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We will review your MRI or CT scan free of charge and help you find the treatment that is right for you.