Anyone who has experienced sciatica before will instantly recognize it again. The zinging pain along the sciatic nerve can range from mild to severe, and at its worst can cause excruciating pain in the low back, buttock, back of the leg, or possibly all the way into the calf. The good news is that with proper treatment, sciatica usually resolves within a few weeks and only rarely requires surgery.
SCIATICA PAIN VARIES FROM PERSON TO PERSON, BUT USUALLY ONLY AFFECTS ONE LEG OR THE OTHER. YOU MAY EXPERIENCE A MILD ACHE, BURNING SENSATION, OR JOLTS SIMILAR TO A MILD ELECTRIC SHOCK. FOR SOME PEOPLE, SCIATIC PAIN CAN BE EXCRUCIATING. IT MAY ALSO BE ACCOMPANIED BY NUMBNESS, TINGLING OR MUSCLE WEAKNESS IN THE AFFECTED LEG.
Causes of Sciatic Pain
Sciatic pain occurs when the sciatic nerve, which travels from the lumbar spine through
the hip and down the back of the leg, becomes compressed, often by a herniated disc,
bone spur, or narrowing of the spine (stenosis). Mild sciatica often resolves on its own,
but you should see a doctor if your sciatica:
• is severe
• lasts longer than a week
• gets progressively worse
• develops suddenly after a traumatic injury, such as a car accident
• causes weakness in the leg or foot
• affects bowel or bladder function
Sciatica that causes weakness in the leg or foot or that affects bowel or bladder
function should be immediately assessed by a spine specialist.
Surgery for Sciatica
MOST SCIATICA THAT DOESN’T RESOLVE ON ITS OWN CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY TREATED WITH MODIFIED ACTIVITY, PHYSICAL THERAPY, SURGERY, INJECTIONS AND/OR ORAL MEDICATION.
Dr. Baig will only perform spine surgery for sciatica if it is truly necessary and if he is
confident the surgery will effectively relieve your sciatic pain and symptoms. Dr. Baig
may perform a lumbar laminectomy, removing the portion of bone in the vertebrae that is
compressing the sciatic nerve.