Overview of sciatic nerve surgery

If you’ve been struggling to live with chronic sciatica pain and you are desperate for pain relief, you may be considering surgery to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Sciatic nerve surgery is generally a last resort for treating sciatica — the painful group of symptoms that can appear when the sciatic nerve is compressed by a spine condition such as a bone spur or a herniated disc. Before recommending sciatica surgery, a physician will likely prescribe a program of conservative treatments. These treatments can include:

  • Stretching
  • Exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Spinal decompression
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Corticosteroid injections

Some health care providers may also recommend alternative treatments such as chiropractic care, acupuncture and massage. Only when conservative treatments have been exhausted should you and your doctor consider sciatic nerve surgery.

At Laser Spine Institute, we are committed to patient-centered care, including educating people about their treatment options. We hope the following information can help you make an informed and confident decision about your treatment options. Feel free to contact our caring team with any questions and for more information about your condition and the treatment options we offer.

Types of sciatic nerve surgery

There are many types of surgery available to treat sciatic nerve compression. Some of the spine surgery options are highly invasive traditional open back surgeries. These are procedures which are performed using a large incision that disrupts muscles, requiring overnight hospitalization and a long, sometimes difficult, recovery period.

These traditional open back procedures include:

  • Discectomy. This is the removal of disc material that is pressing on the sciatic nerve.
  • Foraminotomy. A procedure used to remove excess tissue in one of the openings of the spinal canal where the sciatic nerve exits, also known as the foramen.
  • Laminotomy. The removal of a portion of the lamina — a thin plate that protects the spinal cord.

These procedures can also be performed with minimally invasive techniques at Laser Spine Institute. The minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute has a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.

Our minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery aims to remove pressure on a compressed nerve, such as the sciatic, while still maintaining stability within the spine. Though our minimally invasive decompression surgery is our most commonly recommended procedure, both types of surgery offer significant benefits over traditional open back surgery. We use a small incision that reduces muscle disruption to help our patients heal faster^ compared to the recovery time of traditional open back procedures.

Find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures by contacting Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan.*

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