Understanding Sciatica And Leg Pain
Sciatica causes pain that radiates down the buttocks, legs, and sometimes even all the way to the feet. This discomfort can sometimes go away with some stretches, pain medication, and other home remedies. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary. Consider these 3 surgical treatments for sciatica.
In some cases, the root cause of sciatic nerve pain is a herniated disc. Herniated discs occur when a disc in the spine bulges out of place and presses on surrounding nerves. During a discectomy, the spine surgeon removes all or part of this damaged disc. If sciatica has been caused by herniation, this surgery should completely get rid of the leg pain.
A microdiscectomy is also used for herniated discs. The only difference between a microdiscectomy and a discectomy is that a microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive surgeries use small incisions and tiny surgical instruments to operate. These procedures are associated with faster recovery, lower risk of infection, and less pain. Research has shown that up to 86% of patients experience a significant reduction in pain after microdiscectomy surgery.
3. Laminectomy or laminotomy
The lamina is a bony part of the spine that protects the spinal cord and spinal canal. When the lamina presses on surrounding nerves, such as the sciatic nerve, the result can be severe back or leg pain. A laminectomy is a surgery to remove the entire lamina. A laminotomy is a procedure to resect only part of the lamina. Both operations aim to create more space for the nerves and reduce the chances of pinching or compression.
What else can I do?
Typically, doctors only recommend surgery after non-invasive treatments have not worked. Many patients can experience significant improvements from regular exercise and stretches. After surgery, patients may also need to go through physical therapy to strengthen muscles and learn how to move in a pain-free way. Surgical options have good outcome rates, with patients experiencing a significant improvement in pain.
Removing herniated discs and decompression surgeries can have a significant impact on improving sciatica. For some people, however, pain management will require long-term changes. Whenever a person experiences a flare-up in pain, experts recommend resting for up to 3 days. After that, getting back to regular activity will help to decrease discomfort. People with sciatica may experience discomfort from time to time, but learning to manage pain is crucial. For more information about relieving sciatica pain, speak with a spine specialist.