Sciatica is a common medical condition, affecting more than 3 million people in the US per year. Sciatica generally refers to pain that stems from the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through each one of the hips and down the legs. Common symptoms include cramping, burning, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling. While it can affect both sides of the body, most sciatica conditions only affect 1 side of the body.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve and one of the largest in the body, about an inch wide and contains a bundle of nerve endings. It has an important role in connecting the spinal cord with leg muscles and foot muscles.
Sciatica is often caused when a herniated disc or bulging disc compresses this nerve, injury to the pelvis, or an injury to the buttocks or thigh. The core issue of any of these causes is the prevention of the normal passage of motor and sensory impulses throughout the nerve. Some diseases can also create sciatica, including diabetes, tumors, abscess or bleeding in the pelvis.
Sciatica is often treatable by nonsurgical means, beginning with treatments such as exercises, physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The downfall with many of these treatments is that they only provide temporary physical relief, leading many patients to seek surgical or other options.
The good news is that many sciatica patients are candidates for endoscopic laser spine surgery, which is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no hospitalization. It is minimally invasive, minimal pain, and can have you back to work in days, not weeks. Laser spine surgery can reduce or completely eliminate the pain associated with sciatica.
To see if you qualify as a candidate for laser spine surgery, please contact our doctors at Laser Spine Center of Chicago. We will evaluate your issue and give you the best option for your specific condition.