Sciatic pain can be a recurring problem, bringing with it a loss of mobility. It can be debilitating.
But you can eliminate your leg pain with sciatica surgery. Let’s read a little more about sciatica and find out when surgery can be helpful.
The sciatic nerve
The largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve originates in the lower back, uniting 5 different nerve roots, then splitting in two and running down the backs of both legs to the heels.
When irritated, this nerve can cause pain, tingling and numbness down one side of the lower body.
Sciatic pain is usually a response to an underlying medical issue – a disc herniation is just one such issue.
Symptoms and risk factors
Symptoms can manifest very differently from patient to patient, but some of the most common symptoms of sciatica are:
- Pain which radiates down the back of one leg, which is either intermittent or constant.
- Leg cramps which may last weeks before resolving
- Weakness or numbness in the legs. This may be accompanied by tingling along the path of the nerve. Some patients have difficulty lifting the foot of the affected leg.
- Sleep disturbances caused by pain which can be so severe it wakes patients up.
More serious symptoms of sciatica may result from cauda equina syndrome, infection or spinal tumors. These include an increase in severity of the symptoms listed above, manifestation of symptoms in both legs and loss of bowel or bladder control.
Risk factors for sciatica include obesity, advanced age and occupations which demand repetitive motions (physical labor) or extended periods of sitting (office workers, truck drivers). Inactivity is also a risk factor, as a strong core is your best defense against developing sciatica.
While many cases of sciatica are treated with conservative therapies like physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), surgery may be recommended.
From spinal fusion to stabilize the spine, to microdiscectomy to remove part of a compromised disc, removing pressure on the effective nerve root, there’s a surgical intervention adapted to your unique case of sciatica.
The primary goal of most surgeries performed to relieve sciatica pain is to relive pressure on the nerve by removing excessive bone or herniations which are causing irritation.
Fusion surgery is sometimes performed in these cases, in order to restore stability to spinal structures.
When this condition leads to persistent mobility and quality of life issues and conservative approaches have rendered no improvement, you can eliminate your leg pain with sciatica surgery.
For that purpose, you’ll need to seek out a clinical resource dedicated to conditions of the spine, staffed by experts.
Central Texas Spine Institute
Under the skilled direction of award-winning spine specialist, Dr. Randall F. Dryer, CTSI treats all conditions of the spine. We offer a range of therapies, from conservative interventions through surgery.
Centering our practice on the patient, we find the solution to your condition that’s best adapted to resolving the challenge. Our goal is to restore quality of life by addressing pain.
Contact us to find out more.