5 Common Questions About Sciatica & Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

1) I have a pain in my left butt that goes all the way down my leg. What could that be?

Sciatica is back and leg pain resulting from pinching the sciatic nerve. This is most commonly caused by a slipped disk in the back. Today lumbar disc herniations may be removed minimally invasively with the spinal endoscope

2) I think I have sciatica. Should I see a GP or a Chiropractor?

I would recommend seeing your primary care doctor to orchestrate the workup and treatment of your pain. You will likely require anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy, an MRI scan and possibly steroid injections or surgery.

3) Will sciatica caused by a herniated disc get better without surgery?

Disc herniations rarely resolve on their own. It is more common for them to get a little smaller over time then resolve. Surgery is the best treatment to physically remove the damaged disc. Today this can be done endoscopically though a tiny incision.

4) What kinds of surgeries can help sciatica?

Sciatica is leg pain usually caused by a slipped disk in the spine pinching the sciatic nerve. The most common surgery for sciatica is discectomy, or removal of the piece of disk pinching the nerve. Today this can be done through a very small incision with an endoscope. Usually the pain resolves before you leave the operating room!

5) How successful is a discectomy at relieving back pain?

Discectomy best relieves sciatica leg pain. Back pain may be relieved after discectomy but it is not as consistent as leg pain. Patients with back pain without leg pain and degenerated herniated disk usually undergo a diagnostic test called a discogram to help determine if surgery will work.