Sciatica is a condition caused by inflammation, irritation or excessive pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. Doctor suggest Sciatica surgery in certain cases where patients are not able to find relief from other conservation treatment options. Doctors undertake surgery of individuals suffering from severe pain and where the condition adversely affects their daily life.
While opting for sciatica surgery it is important to ensure that sciatica conditions caused by radiculopathy are not treated through surgery. An individual suffering from sciatica should undertake surgery in some cases when the patient feels the spinal structural pain. Its name is cauda equine syndrome. While this condition is quite rare it can result in the medical emergency for the patients in a short period of time.
Before opting for sciatica surgery it is advisable to get multiple opinions from several surgeons. It is also advisable to get the opinion of a non-surgeon. In most cases of spinal stenosis, herniated discs, as well as pinched nerve surgery, is not really necessary. In most cases of sciatica the patients tend to respond positively to non-surgical treatment options like medication and so surgery is not needed at all.
Sciatica surgery may be needed in cases where bladder or bowel dysfunction is experienced. While this possibility is rare it can be observed in cases of spinal cord compression. Other neurologic dysfunctions like extreme leg weakness may also warrant a surgery. The spine surgeon is equipped in advising the best procedure that can effectively treat sciatica.
Procedure of Sciatica Surgery
The sciatica surgery options available include microdiscectomy or discectomy and laminotomy or laminectomy. In the discectomy, the surgeon removes parts or all of the herniated disc. Microdiscectomy tends to be minimally invasive and a very small incision is made to perform the surgery. This, in turn, ensures that recovery occurs quickly.
With laminotomy or laminectomy, the bony plate protecting the spinal cord or canal is removed. This body plate is called lamina and in the laminectomy. The entire lamina is removed while in laminotomy the only portion of the lamina is removed. These procedures, reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve. And this can provide relief from the symptoms related to this condition.
Following the sciatica surgery, it takes around 2 to 4 weeks for patients to heal completely and they have to take pain medication in this period. Following the surgery, the patients are given instructions on how they should carefully sit and rise or stand. It is important to ensure that body is given appropriate time to heal and so excessive activities should be avoided. Excessive movement of the spine should be avoided and contact sports or activities involving heavy lifting or twisting should be avoided during the recovery period.
Any increase in pain, the possibility of infection or fever after the sciatica surgery should be promptly brought to the notice of the doctor immediately. It is extremely important that the underlying cause of the sciatica pain is identified before opting for the surgery. Only after identifying the cause proper line of treatment can be taken and this can help patients suffering from this condition to heal faster.