Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon Serving Long Beach and Orange County
Up to 40% of adults develop sciatica during their lifetime, and for most, the problem occurs in their 40’s. Many patients suffer debilitating pain that doesn’t respond to conventional treatments. When it’s time to consider surgery, contact Kushagra Verma, MD, MS, FAAOS, at Verma Spine, serving patients in Los Alamitos, Long Beach, and Orange County, California. Dr. Verma pairs concierge-level personalized care together with surgical skill to safely alleviate your pain and help you regain an active, healthy life. To learn more about surgical options for sciatica, call the office or schedule an appointment online.
Sciatica Q & A
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica refers to a group of symptoms that occur when your sciatic nerve is compressed. The sciatic nerve travels from your lower spine, through your buttocks, down each leg, and into your feet.
In rare cases, the nerve can be pinched by muscles in your buttocks. Most of the time, sciatica develops when the nerve is compressed at the spine due to conditions such as:
- Herniated disc
- Bone spurs
- Slipped vertebra
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
In 90% of all patients, sciatica is caused by a herniated disc.
What symptoms define sciatica?
Sciatica is well-known for causing excruciating pain that starts in your lower back and radiates down one leg. Patients experience the pain differently, with descriptions ranging from an electric-shock pain to a burning or aching pain. Pinched nerves also cause symptoms such as tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the affected leg.
How do doctors treat sciatica?
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your treatment may include medications, physical therapy, and steroid injections to reduce nerve inflammation. It’s time to consider surgery when you still have pain after about three months of conservative treatment, your pain gets worse, or you develop muscle weakness.
What type of surgery do you perform to treat sciatica?
The type of surgery you need depends on the underlying cause of your sciatica. Dr. Verma may recommend one of the following:
A discectomy repairs a herniated disc by removing the damaged portion of the disc that’s pushing against the sciatic nerve.
When the disc suffers more damage than a small herniation, Dr. Verma can remove the entire disc and replace it with an artificial disc. This procedure relieves your sciatica and maintains normal spinal movement.
Laminectomy and foraminotomy
Both of these procedures relieve pressure on the nerve when Dr. Verma removes small portions of bone and thickened ligaments.
When removing part of the bone may lead to spinal instability, Dr. Verma takes care of the problem with a bone fusion.
In most cases, Dr. Verma uses minimally invasive surgery to treat sciatica. Since this type of procedure only uses one or two small incisions, you have minimal pain and a shorter recovery.
If you struggle with ongoing pain that shoots down one leg, you’ll receive personalized care at Verma Spine; call the office or schedule an appointment online.
Dr. Verma practices in the following areas:
- Los Alamitos
- Long Beach
- Hunnington Beach
- Orange County