What is sciatica Laser Spine Institute
My name is Stefan Prada. I'm one ofthe orthopedic spine surgeons at Laser Spine Institute. At this time, I'd like to talkto you about sciatica. Sciatica, by definition, is pain down the back of one's leg. The symptoms of sciatica can frequently becaused by a pinched nerve in low back, or lumbar spine. Pinched nerves in the back cancause pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the leg. If you have tried conservativetreatment such as antiinflammatories, physical therapy, chiropractor, steroid shots, andyou continue to experience sciatica and an MRI has shown some type of source for a pinchednerve, then the minimally invasive techniques
at Laser Spine Institute can help alleviatethese symptoms. These techniques are muscle sparing, withâ€¦ through an incision of an inch or smaller, we get down to the offending area. By splittingthe muscle and not cutting it, the patient has less pain and less bleeding and a quickerrecovery. Through this small incision technique, we can remove the agent that is pinching thenerveâ€”the herniated disc, the facet cyst, the facet spur, the thickened ligament. Allof these can easily be removed, freeing up the nerve and removing the symptoms of sciaticaor leg pain.
Sciatica or sciatic neuralgia is a commoncondition in which one of the spinal nerve roots of the sciatic nerve is compressed resultingin lower back, buttock and leg pain. Sciatic nerve is a large nerve derived from 5 spinalnerve roots: L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3. It runs from the lumbar spine through the buttockdown the leg and the foot on the posterior aspect. There is one sciatic nerve on eachside of the body. Typically, only one side of the body is affected.A typical sciatica pain is described as a sharp shooting pain in the lower back, downthe buttock, thigh and leg on one side of the body. There may also be numbness, burningand tingling sensations. The pain can get
worse with sitting, moving, sneezing, or coughing.The patterns of pain depend on which nerve root is compressed, and follow the dermatomedistribution. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniatedspinal disc. The spinal disc is a soft elastic cushion that sits in between the vertebraeof the spine. With age, the discs become rigid and may crack, the gellike center of thedisc may protrude out and become a herniation outside the normal boundaries of the disc.Disc herniation presses on the nerve root as it exits the spine.In majority of the cases the condition resolves by itself after a few weeks of rest and conservativetreatment. Pain relief, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory
drugs and muscle relaxants may be prescribed.Stretching exercises and physical therapy may be recommended.Surgery may be needed if the pain doesn't go away after 3 months or more of conservativetreatments. The herniated disc may be removed in a procedure called discectomy. Or, in anotherprocedure called laminotomy, part of the bone of the vertebrae may be cut to make room forthe nerve.