Many patients suffering from sciatica respond well from nonsurgical treatment methods – (medication, physical therapy, heat and cold therapy) and rarely need any surgery. However, some circumstances force a patient to opt for surgery. Here are some scenarios;
- The spinal cord compression brings about bowel or bladder dysfunction.
- The patient is suffering from spinal stenosis, and the doctor recommends surgery as the best method of treatment.
- A patient is experiencing neurological dysfunctions such as severe leg weakness.
- A patient fails to respond positively to nonsurgical treatment methods.
There are various sciatica surgery methods, and your doctor will recommend the best depending on the causal factor of sciatica. Before being operated on, make sure the whole procedure is clearly explained to you. Ask all the necessary questions until you are comfortable with the procedure.
Always keep in mind that the decision of surgery lies with you. Let not any doctor or surgeon force you to undergo the procedure. If you are not contented with the treatment option, always seek a second opinion.
Common Sciatica Surgery options
There are two types of sciatica surgery effectively help to reduce sciatica pain
- Discectomy or Microdiscectomy. During the two procedures, the surgeon works by removing part or all the part of a herniated disc that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. This surgery option is invasive. The surgeon uses small instruments with the help of a microscope. The doctor creates a small incision on the patients back works on the causal factor of sciatica. Patients who undergo this procedure recover fast due to the invasive nature of the surgery.
- Laminectomy or Laminotomy. The sciatica surgery involves the removal of part or the lamina – a bony plate that protects the spine. During Laminotomy procedure, the surgeon removes a small part of lamina while in Laminectomy the surgeon removes the entire lamina. The procedures create more room for the sciatic nerve and reduce the likely hood of the nerve being pinched or compressed.
Recovering From Sciatica Surgery
After the sciatica surgery, you will automatically feel relief and get better. You can comfortably get out of bed after 24 hours and make small steps. Your doctor will recommend pain reliever for one month. Also, your doctor will give you instructions on how to carefully sit rise, sleep and walk. You should give yourself enough time to rest before engaging in activities the t involve constant spine movement. In short, your doctor will prohibit you from engaging in any kind of sports, heavy lifting or spine twisting.
After the surgery, it is vital to be vigilant. Report any abnormal symptoms such as fever or increased pain.
How Effective is Sciatica Surgery
Doctors recommend sciatica as the last option of treatment when other treatment plans fail to relieve pain. Before that, your doctor must have tried out other treatment plans like medication, physical therapy, chiropractic care and all given negative results.
The main purpose of surgery is to provide pain relief and increase spine mobility. It is meant to remove anything that is causing pressure or pinching the sciatic nerve for example herniated disks.