Sciatica surgery — exploring Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive alternative

Not all patients diagnosed with sciatica require surgery. In fact, many patients find relief from their pain and discomfort through conservative, nonsurgical treatments. Patients are often advised to use a combination of over-the-counter pain relievers, physical therapy and the application of heat and/or ice to relieve their pain and discomfort. It is usually when weeks or months of conservative treatment have not provided relief that surgery becomes an option.

Laser Spine Institute

Some patients may be candidates for a minimally invasive procedure as an alternative to traditional open back sciatica surgery. The board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute perform minimally invasive spine surgery to relieve sciatic nerve compression in the lower back. The procedure offered will depend on the underlying cause of the neural compression, which could include a herniated disc, bulging disc, arthritic bone spur or another degenerative spinal condition.

Minimally invasive discectomy

A discectomy for sciatica is a minimally invasive procedure where a surgeon removes the herniated or bulging disc material pressing against the sciatic nerve. It is performed through a less than 1-inch incision in the patient’s lower back, which unlike traditional open sciatica surgery minimizes the disruption of muscle or ligament. Instead, the surgeon inserts a series of tubes, each slightly larger in diameter than the last. The surgeon then inserts a camera, irrigation, suction and other surgical tools into the tube to be able to remove the disc material pressing against the sciatic nerve. The surgical tools are removed, the incision is sutured and the patient is monitored for a short time before he or she is free to go home or back to the hotel.

Minimally invasive foraminotomy

Like a discectomy, our minimally invasive foraminotomy is a type of sciatica surgery performed through a less than 1-inch incision and uses direct visualization and magnification tools to better see the spine to relieve pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve. A foraminotomy is a type of sciatica surgery used to treat spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spine. After the surgeon makes the incision and inserted the surgical tools, he or she removes bone material or soft tissue to enlarge a foramen — the canal through which spinal nerve roots exit the spinal canal — to relieve compression of the sciatic nerve. Like all of our procedures, this is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure

How to learn more about minimally invasive sciatica surgery

For more information about our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute. We’ll gladly provide a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you’re a potential candidate for any of our procedures.

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