Surgery for sciatica — preoperative considerations

Choosing surgery to treat your sciatica pain is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. Make sure you take the opportunity before your procedure to speak with your physician about ways to prepare for the upcoming surgery and the following recovery process. Having a clear understanding of all facets of surgery will help you be confident about the procedure, have realistic expectations, and stay focused and positive as you prepare for, undergo and recuperate from your sciatica surgery.

Some things to consider before surgery include:

  • When should you stop taking certain pain medications?
  • Should you start an exercise regimen?
  • Will any smoking or alcohol affect the outcome of your surgery?

Your physician and/or surgical team can guide you through the best presurgical practices to prepare you for your upcoming sciatica procedure.

Postoperative considerations

Before surgery for sciatica, take the opportunity to ask your physician as many questions as possible about what you can expect directly after surgery and in the days and weeks afterward as you recover. This can help you properly prepare for your recovery period and set realistic expectations for after surgery. Things to consider include:

  • Participating in physical therapy sessions
  • Getting your medications
  • Completing daily tasks like bathing
  • Scheduling follow-up appointments

Having answers for these questions before your surgery will help you schedule a family member or friend to take you to the pharmacy for your medication or to the doctor for your follow-up visit. Take advantage of your time before the surgery to plan your recovery process.

Expediting your recovery period after surgery for sciatica

The length of your recovery after sciatica surgery will depend on several factors, including what type of procedure was performed, how closely you follow your recovery guidelines and your overall level of health.

In general, patients who undergo a minimally invasive procedure to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve have shorter recovery periods^ than those who undergo highly invasive procedures like traditional open back surgery.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. We offer several types of minimally invasive spine surgery at our world-class outpatient surgery centers across the country. Let us help you find relief from your chronic back pain by contacting our team and requesting a review of your MRI report or CT scan.

Browse Related Resources