When suffering from sciatica pain it is best to understand the condition before seeking out treatment. Sciatica and the pain associated with it refer to the symptoms associated with pinched or compressed nerves root of the spinal cord. From top to bottom down the entire length of the spine, at each spinal level nerves exit through holes in the bone of the spine (foramen) on the right side and left side of the spinal column. These nerves are called nerve roots or radicular nerves. The sciatic nerve is an extension of the exiting nerve and anatomically runs down both legs connecting to tendons and muscles into your hip, buttock, thigh, knee, calf and foot. Sciatica can be present in one or both legs. Another common term used to describe this pain is radicular pain or radiculitis (nerve root inflammation). Radicular pain is usually secondary to compression or inflammation of a spinal nerve. This pain is often deep and steady and usually reproduced with certain positions and activities such as walking or sitting. When nerve dysfunction is documented the condition is referred to radiculopathy.
Generally sciatica symptoms occur on one side of your body affecting a shoulder, arm or a leg. However in severe cases of spinal stenosis both exiting nerves on each side of your spinal cord can produce sciatica symptoms in your arms or legs, leaving patients in chronic debilitating pain. This sciatic nerve pain can manifest itself with some or all of the following symptoms:
- Muscle Weakness
If any or all of these symptoms are present you should seek a professional medical opinion quickly. When conservative treatments such as physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) exercise strengthening has failed and your pain is still present after 6 month, surgical and interventional procedures are indicated. It is important to also have a current MRI or CT Scan (< 6 months old) and clear neurological deficit present on the scan. The Jasper Spine Institute offers the following treatment and solutions options for sciatica:
- Endoscopic Discectomy: The least invasive procedure and smallest incision in spine surgery today. An endoscope with HD camera is used to surgical visualize and remove the bulging or herniated disc material compressing the nerve root. The patient is under conscious sedation awake, aware and comfortable. Using this procedure reduces the risk of anesthesia, reduces post-operative pain and recovery.
- Endoscopic Foraminotomy: When the bony area around the exiting nerve becomes narrow (stenosis) bone spurs, ligaments, scar tissue or disc can cause the nerve to become compressed. Again, the endoscopic technique is used with special tools such a laser, motorized diamond burrs, ronguers, reamers and kerrisons to decompress the area around the nerve to relieve the pressure and symptoms.
The Jasper Spine Institute Interventional Pain Management Advantage:
- Less than ¼ inch incision
- Less post-operative pain and recovery than traditional minimally invasive procedures
- Outpatient procedure with patients discharged within 2 hours of surgery
- Return to work within 3-5 days*
At Jasper Spine Institute we listen and work with you to develop a unique treatment regime that addresses your pain and symptoms. Our goal is always to provide solutions whether conservative or surgical so that you are able to return to the quality of life you want without the pain and suffering.
* Always seek your physician’s opinion when it is safe to return to work. Also, light administrative duty is recommended until your physician approves of any physical demands at your place of work.