The 2 Common Sciatica Surgery…
Which Is Best For You?
Due to the invasive nature of sciatica surgery, medical researchers suggest that you should only consider sciatica surgery options if you meet the following criteria: severe leg pain for 6 weeks or longer, sciatica not relieved by non-surgical sciatica treatment methods, severe functional limitation, and/or patient experiencing Cauda Equina Syndrome.
When sciatica does not get treated properly… or soon enough, Cauda Equina Syndrome may develop. If you have Cauda Equina Syndrome, your leg(s) will get weaker and weaker… or you’ll experience a sudden loss of bowel and/or bladder control.
Sciatica surgery usually involves these two types of back surgery: microdiscectomy and lumbar laminectomy. Which back surgery for sciatica gets done depends on what’s causing your sciatica in the first place. If you have sciatica on one side… and it’s caused by a herniated disc pinching on a nerve root that makes up the sciatic nerve… the sciatica surgery you’ll get is a microdiscectomy or a discectomy.
Microdiscectomy or discectomy involves surgically removing the part of the disc that’s pinching on the irritated sciatica nerve root.
Microdiscectomy can be done using a surgical instrument or using a laser. When you hear laser discectomy, or laser surgery for sciatica pain… this means that a laser is used during microdiscectomy.
Most discectomies are done by cutting your skin and connective tissue to access your herniated disc. Sometimes, surgeons even have to cut or shave your bone to see or to access your problematic herniated disc. Instead of cutting your skin, some back surgeons use a technique called endoscopic microdiscectomy. With endoscopic discectomy, instead of cutting your skin and tissues, the surgeons will poke your back with a tube that contains a camera and surgical instruments. Some back surgeons don’t like to do endoscopic microdiscectomy, because they feel that their field of vision of the problematic area is limited. They also feel that this procedure is hard to do… perhaps due in part to many back surgeons not having as much experience in endoscopic microdiscectomy… since many of them prefer to do the traditional microdiscectomies.
Again, microdiscectomy for sciatica pain will be done if the cause of your sciatica is from a lumbar herniated disc… the most common cause of sciatica.
In addition to this microdiscectomy spine surgery, if you have other complicating conditions such as an epidural abscess, an epidural tumor, or Cauda Equina Syndrome… adding to the nerve root compression or pinching… surgical treatment for these other conditions must also be performed.
Also, sometimes a lumbar laminectomy or a laminotomy must be done in order to access the pinched nerve root and the herniated disc. We’ll cover lumbar laminectomy next.
Here’s an example of what back surgery looks like.
Although a disc herniation is the most common sciatica cause, sciatica may also be caused by a lumbar spinal stenosis. If your sciatica is caused by a spinal stenosis in your lumbar spine, the surgery of choice will be a lumbar laminectomy.
When you get a lumbar laminectomy, a part of your lumbar spinal bone that’s pinching your sciatica nerve root will be removed.
Lumbar laminectomy back surgery for sciatica can be more invasive than the discectomy covered above. If there’s also a disc herniation complicating the spinal stenosis… a discectomy may also be done in addition to the lumbar laminectomy.
If you want to see how lumbar laminectomy and how discectomy sciatica back surgeries are done, you can search the internet for videos on these back surgery procedures.
Are You Healthy Enough To Undergo Sciatica Surgery?
For both of the sciatica surgery options mentioned above, you must be in good general health… especially if the sciatica surgery that you’ll be having is the lumbar laminectomy. Depending on your specific condition… and which back surgery you get… sciatica surgery recovery can be painful… and can take time. Again, sciatica and surgery should not be mixed unless you absolutely need surgery for your sciatica pain, tingling, numbness or leg weakness.
Your response to the sciatica
and your sciatica surgery recovery
will be determined by how healthy you are.
Plus, in case your first surgery didn’t work… or if the surgery makes your condition worse (a condition known as Failed Back Surgery Syndrome) … you may need to have another back surgery done. Multiple back surgeries require a healthy body for complete recovery… especially when the back surgeries are done within a close time frame. This can be difficult for many sciatica sufferers, since many of them become sedentary and out of shape, because their sciatica makes it too difficult and often painful to exercise and have a healthy lifestyle.
Also, as with any form of surgery, post-surgical infection is always a possibility. If you develop an infection, to successfully combat post-surgical infection, your body must be healthy.
Another thing to keep in mind
when considering sciatica surgery
is whether or not you’re a “scar former.”
As with any surgery that requires a cut or a penetration to your skin and connective tissue, a scar may form. These post-surgical scar tissue formation can complicate your surgical recovery. These post-surgical scars can also pinch on your sciatica nerve roots and make your sciatica symptoms worse. Surgery will usually leave a scar… it just depends on how much scarring your body develops.
In the beginning, post-surgical scarring may not be an issue, but as time goes by, some people develop severe post-surgical scarring that they have to have another back surgery to remove the scar tissues… and then they have to have another back surgery at a later time to again remove the post-surgical scar tissues… and on and on. This is a terrible cycle that you want to avoid.
How Much Does Sciatica Surgery Cost?
To learn more about sciatica surgery cost, call your medical insurance company and ask them how much sciatica surgery will cost you. Also, call the surgeon’s office and/or the hospital where your sciatica surgery will be performed and ask them how much it will cost. Keep in mind that in many cases, you’ll be charged by the hospital for their facility use and staff cost, and in addition, you’ll also be charged by each doctor and anesthesiologist who helped during your back surgery.
It’s best if you know the total cost of your spine surgery… and that you have your surgery payment arrangements in place… before your surgery for your sciatica. This will allow you and your loved ones to focus on your sciatica surgery recovery after you go through the procedure.
How Effective Is Back Surgery For Sciatica?
Before even considering sciatica surgery, talk to your primary doctor and your back surgeon about the effectiveness of back surgery for sciatica relief. There are mixed and confusing research data on the effectiveness of back surgery. Some say that back surgery can bring sciatica relief. But, others say that if sciatica surgery brings a patient relief of sciatica, the long-term surgical outcome is about the same compared to if the patient chose to manage their sciatica using conservative non-surgical treatment methods.
A good sciatica surgeon or back surgeon should tell his sciatica patients like you about all your treatment options for sciatica relief. Your back surgeon should also encourage you to first explore other non-surgical sciatica treatment methods before operating on your back. If you get absolutely no relief using other natural sciatica treatment methods, that’s when you and your back surgeon should seriously consider sciatica surgery.
What To Do If You Have No Choice But To Undergo Back Surgery…
Do your best to make sure you are in top shape. Because of your sciatica, you may be limited as far as exercising to get in shape. However, get proper hydration and nutrition to help you during and after your back surgery. As mentioned above, put your financial plans in place to pay for your spinal surgery. Also, line up the people who will help you during your sciatica surgery recovery.
After back surgery, you may need help with shopping, cooking, dressing, going to the bathroom, and driving to doctor’s offices or physical therapists’offices. Also, set up your house so that you can comfortably recover. Depending on your condition, you may have trouble getting up stairs or accessing other areas of your house… especially during the first few days after your surgery.
This should go without saying, but make sure you pick a top notch back surgeon. Plus, make sure your chosen surgeon has a lot of experience in doing the specific type of sciatica surgery that you will be having.
You should also hope for the best surgical outcome and a speedy recovery. Reassure yourself that your back surgeon will do their best and will do a great job… and that not everyone develops Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. If you have to have back surgery, think of positive outcomes instead of the potential negative outcomes. In other words… HOPE FOR THE BEST.
Keep in mind that if you still have a choice of not getting sciatica surgery, keep looking for other natural sciatica cure. Because of the surgical complications mentioned above, can you now see why medical researchers suggest that patients first try other non-surgical natural sciatica treatments before getting sciatica surgery?
You’re About To Discover A Non-Surgical Treatment For Sciatica That Many People Don’t Know About
If you’ve tried non-surgical sciatica treatments such as pain medications, injections, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture… and your sciatica is not much better, you might want to consider this modern little-known sciatica treatment that I’m about to tell you about. It’s called Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression and here’s what it looks like.
This remarkable machine is one of
the reasons why
I have a high success rate in helping many patients with sciatica.
After over 16 years in practice, I’ve treated over 3,500 patients. Many of them had sciatica. I’ve been using this Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression machine for over 8 years, and many of my sciatica patients get fantastic results. It doesn’t help EVERYONE with sciatica, but it may help you. Which one would you rather try… non-surgical spinal decompression or back surgery? If this treatment doesn’t help you, you can still get back surgery.
But, what if this treatment
can save you from undergoing back surgery?
Some excellent back surgeons have asked their patients to first try this treatment before they operate on their backs. Here’s what a couple of back surgeons said about this incredible machine:
“A lot of patients that I see are actually sent for surgery and I give them this alternative and in a great majority of patients, this lets them get rid of their pain without having to have surgery.” *
“I have patients who I would bet would go into surgery after looking at their MRI and after examining them. And they’d come back telling me that after 2 sessions they were better and after the completion of treatments are completely pain-free. You can’t argue with that kind of success.” *
Being on this machine is so EASY and so RELAXING that most of my patients that use it just relax and maybe take a short nap during their session. For a lot of these sciatica patients, being on this machine is the only time when they have no leg pain or foot pain or numbness or tingling… therefore, they’re able to finally relax.
Here’s a patient talking about how she has benefited from using this remarkable machine.
Will you have the same experience she had?
I hope you find the sciatica relief that you’re looking for. If you’d like to see if I can help you with your sciatica, call my office at (831) 475-8600 and schedule a FREE Consultation. The reason why I offer a FREE Consultation to new patients, is because I don’t know if I can help them with their sciatica. I don’t want new patients like you to come in and pay… only to be told that I can’t help you.
If you’re afraid that we’ll convince you to sign up for care or sign you up for long-term treatment, rest assured that we will NOT do that. I focus on short-term care… meaning my staff and I will do our best to get you out of pain and out of our office as fast as possible… with minimal time, effort and expense on your part. This is one reason why I get a lot of referrals from satisfied patients referring their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. This is also why I get referrals from other health care providers in Santa Cruz County.
I have a very busy practice. I want to help as many people as possible, so I do my best to give you the sciatica relief that you’re looking for… and get you back to living your life.
If you’re not ready to schedule a FREE Consultation, you should request a FREE copy of my book, “How To Relieve Sciatica Without Back Surgery.” This book will show you the little-known sciatica treatments that have helped many of my sciatica patients. In this book, I also include sciatica treatments that you can do at home. I want you to feel better… and as much as possible to avoid sciatica surgery.