Spine fusion operation for sciatica

Sciatica is a collection of symptoms that result from the compression of the sciatic nerve — the largest nerve in the body, located in the lower back near the lumbar spine. Sciatica symptoms often include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Limited mobility
  • Difficulty walking
  • Stiffness

These symptoms can travel from the lower back into the buttocks, legs and feet if the sciatic nerve compression is severe.

If you’ve been diagnosed with sciatica pain, and conservative treatments have not offered any lasting relief, your doctor may recommend a spine fusion operation for sciatica treatment. Before you consent to this procedure, you should research Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive alternative used to help treat sciatica pain.

LLIF for sciatica — a minimally invasive spine stabilization operation

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is a minimally invasive spine fusion operation that can be used to help treat sciatica in patients who no longer can control their symptoms using nonsurgical, conservative treatments.

This procedure is used to relieve pressure from the sciatic nerve in the lumbar region of the spine and to stabilize the affected vertebrae. A lateral lumbar interbody fusion is a minimally invasive alternative to highly invasive traditional open back surgery for conditions that produce debilitating sciatic nerve compression.

How LLIF differs from open back surgery

LLIF for sciatica differs from a traditional open back spine fusion operation in many ways. The two most important differences are the size of the incision and the fact that LLIF requires no unnecessary disruption of muscle tissue for the surgeon to gain access to the spine.

At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive procedures are performed through smaller incisions than what is used during traditional open spine surgery. In our procedures, the muscle tissue is spread to allow our surgeons to reach the damaged area of the spine. No unnecessary muscle disruption means the healing process after LLIF is shorter^ and there is a lower risk of complication compared to the recovery and risks associated with traditional open spine surgery.

Next steps

If you’ve been recommended for spine surgery to help treat your sciatica pain, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery. We can provide a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our procedures.