Sciatica is mainly an irritation of the largest nerve called the sciatic nerve and its nerve roots. This causes pain from mild to extreme around the hip area down to the thigh and legs. The pressure on the sciatic nerve is commonly due to a herniated disc or slipped disc along the lumbar area of the spine. This condition is oftentimes diagnosed as radiculopathy, which means, a disc has stick out of the annulus fibrosus, the disc’s outer covering.
In most cases, sciatic pain can be debilitating and severe. To ease the pain, several methods are applied such as medications, therapies, acupuncture, chiropractic care and surgery.
Once sciatic pain does not get any better after six weeks of reasonable treatment and medications, sciatica surgery is then considered. Depending on the patient’s health condition, and duration of the pain, there are two sciatica surgery procedures to choose from: microdecompression and decompression.
Microdiscectomy or otherwise known as microdecompression may be administered sooner than four weeks if the pain is extremely serious. Emergency sciatica surgery is done only if the patient is experiencing sudden loss control of his or her bowel and bladder, and progressive leg weakness. This is an elective procedure basing on the patient’s decision and other factors such as pain intensity and how long the pain exists. About 90-95% of patients find relief after undergoing this type of sciatica surgery.
The open decompression or also called as lumbar laminectomy is another sciatica surgery that is again, elective. A lumbar spinal stenosis also stimulates sciatica pain and it wanes for many years. Surgery is a considerable approach to treat the condition if the patient’s tolerance is categorized to an unacceptable level. 70-80% of patients who went through such sciatic surgery experienced relief from the symptoms.
Like the microdecompression, this is a surgical procedure done to alleviate neural impingement pains. Laminectomy is designed to take out a small part of a bone near the nerve root or disc to provide the nerve more space and conducive healing environment. This works effectively in improving the pain and enhances functions on patients with a case of spinal stenosis. This spinal stenosis mostly affects the elderly people. The condition is due to some degenerative changes that in time results to facet joints enlargement. These joints then put pressure along the nerves and the pressure can be relieved by a lumbar laminectomy.
It is of importance to know that the decision on whether to undergo or not a sciatica surgery procedure varies greatly on the patient. There are lots of factors that patients take into account in making the decision. On this regard, doctors or surgeons should advise and keep the patient inform of whatever options he or she has to be able to come up with the most appropriate decision.