If you’ve ever suffered from any of the symptoms associated with sciatica — or if you’re suffering from them right now — you know how debilitating it can be. The cause of your sciatica could be any of a bewildering variety of potentially serious problems. Fortunately, we know how to isolate the specific reason for your pain and can recommend appropriate treatments.
“Sciatica” is a blanket term applied to disorders of the sciatic nerve. This nerve, which routes all communication between your brain and legs, is attached to the spinal cord through several large nerve branches. Any spinal problem that interferes with their function can cause problems in the affected extremity. Unfortunately, this opens the door to many potential culprits, including:
• Herniated disk. A herniated spinal disc can produce sciatica symptoms. When the disc bulges too far from the vertebrae, it presses against the sciatic nerve roots.
• Spondylolisthesis. This condition occurs when a lumbar vertebra slips out of position relative the vertebra below it. It can be caused by an acute injury, or may develop on its own.
• Stenosis. Stenosis is a thickening of the bony passageways that surround the nerve roots.
• Piriformis syndrome. In this condition, nerve symptoms are caused by compression from the piriformis muscle in the buttock.
• Tumors. In rare cases, a tumor can put pressure on the sciatic nerve or nerve root.
Once we diagnose the cause of your sciatica, we have a wide array of treatments to employ against it. For instance, a procedure called a foraminotomy can remove extra bone pinching a nerve root. A laminectomy can add extra room inside the spinal canal to relieve impingements. We also treat herniated discs, remove spinal tumors, and correct other issues that cause sciatica. Contact Microsurgical Spine Center to learn more.