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 sciatic nerve surgery.

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. 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 all conservative treatments have been exhausted should you and your doctor consider sciatic nerve surgery.

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 procedures are performed at a hospital and have an increased risk of failed back surgery syndrome and infection compared to other minimally invasive spine surgery alternatives.

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 the opening 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 bone 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 the sciatic nerve (or other compressed nerve) 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 surgery.

Find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures by contacting Laser Spine Institute for a review of your MRI report or CT scan.