Sciatica pain — surgical treatment options

Sciatica is a term used to describe the pain and symptoms that result from the compression of the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lower back to the feet. When this nerve is compressed, symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness that affect the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet can occur.

If you have been diagnosed with sciatica and you have not found sufficient relief from months of conservative treatment, you may be recommended to undergo surgery to treat your condition. Before you decide whether or not surgery is right for you, we encourage you to research all of the available surgical procedure options and make an informed decision about your care. If you have any questions during your research, contact the team at Laser Spine Institute for more information about the process and recovery time for each available procedure.

A sciatica procedure is any type of spine surgery designed to remove displaced or damaged spinal anatomy that is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve and causing symptoms. Approaches to spine surgery include traditional open neck or back surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Traditional open back surgery for sciatica

This type of surgery is categorized as highly invasive because the surgeon is required to make a large incision, often 4 to 6 inches in length, which cuts through the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the spine. The techniques used during this procedure increase a patient’s risk of infection and excessive blood loss during surgery while also requiring an overnight hospital stay. The recovery time for traditional open back surgery can be long and difficult due to the damage that occurs to the muscles and other soft tissue around the spine.

Minimally invasive spine surgery for sciatica

Minimally invasive spine surgery offers patients an alternative to traditional open back surgery. Laser Spine Institute is the leader in this exciting field and has helped more than 75,000 patients since 2005.

By using muscle-sparing techniques, our surgeons are able to access the spine with a less than 1-inch incision. To treat sciatica we can perform both minimally invasive decompression procedures and minimally invasive stabilization procedures, which are alternatives to traditional open spine fusions. Our outpatient procedures offer patients a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery. To learn more about the options we offer for patients dealing with sciatica, please reach out to us today.

If you’d like to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, we are pleased to offer a free MRI review.*

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