What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body. When someone refers to sciatica, they are usually referring to an irritation of the sciatic nerve. The irritation begins in the lower back and typically travels down the legs. This type of irritation can originate from different conditions, such as a herniated disc, inflammation, bone spurs or foraminal stenosis.
When someone is experiencing sciatic nerve pain (sciatica) it occurs when a condition (such as the above mentioned) compresses the nerve roots or spinal cord. Therefore, causeing irritation, which is why pain is present.
At Spine & Orthopedic Center, our team of spine specialists provides the leading sciatica treatment center in South Florida. We focus on proper diagnosis and a wide array of options through our multiple offices. Offices located in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Plantation and Fort Lauderdale.
Main Causes of Sciatica
Patients normally feel sciatic pain from the low back to behind the thigh. The pain can radiate to down below the knee. Typically, when patients are told that they have sciatica, most of them tend to think that Sciatica is the diagnosis. However, Sciatica itself is not a condition, but rather a way to describe different symptoms caused by a spinal condition(s) compressing the sciatic nerve.
The most common causes of sciatica are:
- Herniated disk
- Lumbar degenerative disc disease
- Bone spurs
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Piriformis syndrome
- Normal aging process
- Spinal tumors
- Heavy lifting
- Pinched nerve
Common Symptoms of Sciatica
The most common sciatica symptoms include the following:
- Weakness or umbness in the buttocks or leg
- Burning or tingling sensation down the leg
- Pain worsening when sitting
Furtheremore, severe sciatic nerve pain can make walking very difficult for some patients. Sciatica symptoms can become aggravated by walking or bending at the waist.
Sciatica Treatment Options
There are several non-surgical and surgical options for sciatica pain relief. However, they are related to the spinal condition or disease affecting the sciatic nerve. Our spine orthopedic and physical therapist specialists have decades of combined experience in the treatment of sciatica in Broward and Palm Beach.
Non-Operative Sciatica Treatment
Typically, the most common non-surgical options involve:
- Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- Hot and cold therapy
- Physical therapy
- Epidural steroid injections
However, physicians may consider surgery for those patients who do not improve with conservative treatment and show significant weakness or loss of function.
Surigcal Options for Sciatica Treatment
Please find below the most common surgical options when sciatic pain is involved:
This surgical procedure involves removing all or portions of the lamina, removing bone spurs and/or enlarging the foramina to relieve pressure or compression on the nerve roots or spinal cord. This pressure is often what causes pain.
Often, in addition to a decompression, your surgeon will perform an instrumented posterolateral fusion by inserting a series of screws and rods coupled with the placement of the bone graft. This fusion provides increased spinal stability.
The surgical approach is from the front of the abdomen. Once the exposure is made, your surgeon will use surgical instruments to remove the disc material that causes the nerve compression. Once this material is removed, an interbody cage or bone spacer is placed at the disc site filled with bone graft. The vertebral bodies above and below are frequently put under compression to aid in the subsequent spinal fusion.
The same procedure as the ALIF but the approach and exposure are performed from the back. Just as in an ALIF, the surgeon will remove the disc material and insert an interbody device. Compression through the use of pedicle screws is frequently achieved to aid in fusion.
At Spine & Orthopedic Center, our team can provide both non-surgical and minimally invasive options for patients suffering from sciatic nerve pain. Call us 24/7 at 888-409-8006 to speak with a specialist. Offices conveniently located throughout South Florida; Boca Raton, Deerfield, Coral Springs & Planation.