I am 39 year-old woman with left leg pain and numbness. What can I do?

Your left leg pain and numbness is probably from a “pinched” nerve in your back.  This is called Sciatica.  Sciatica in a 39 year old is most commonly caused by a disk herniation.  Treatment for sciatica varies from rest, physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, steroid injections and surgery.   Pain that is not improving, very severe or associated with neurological deficits (weakness, foot drop, numbness or bowel and bladder incontinence or retention) may require spinal surgery.

In the past spinal surgery was a big deal.  You were admitted to the hospital, put to sleep under a general anesthetic and had your back half opened up to expose the spine.  The muscles were retracted and damaged and the bone was removed.  This bone removal is called a laminectomy or laminotomy, depending on how much lamina was removed.  Then the traversing nerve and thecal were retracted and the disk was found and removed.

Today disk surgery is much simpler.  Disk surgery can be done through a spinal endoscope (such as JOIMAX), this is often called Laser spine surgery, even though the laser is not necessary today.  The big advancement of “Laser spine surgery” is the used of an endoscope.  An endoscope is a pen-sized micro-video camera that is placed inside the spine to the herniated disk pinching the sciatic nerve.  Tiny instruments are inserted through the endoscope to remove the disk.   The sciatica leg pain often improves very quickly often before surgery is over.

Schedule an Appointment to learn more about endoscopic spine surgery and how it can help you!