Surgery For Sciatica
Surgery is not the first option that a person should consider for sciatica. In fact, the most common treatment is not surgery, but proper exercise, avoiding aggravating the nerve, and proper handling of your body. Many cases of sciatica actually disappear suddenly after a certain period of time. It is even possible that severely herniated discs can repair themselves and reform to serve their original function. But if you are not responding to any treatment and if you are not experiencing any relaxation of your pain then some studies have shown that sciatica surgery is better performed sooner rather than later.
Surgery for sciatica signs
There are four primary signs that should be present to consider surgery for sciatica that have been published by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). The first is if your leg is functionally incapacitated below the knee and that this is accompanied by what the orthopedic surgeon refers to as a nerve root distribution. The second sign is that when performing a straight leg lift test there is tension within the nerve root, the muscles are not working properly, or if the area is subject to numbness, pain, or is difficult to control. The third sign is if the patient does not exhibit any improvement within one to two months of being treated under a standard conservative schedule of care. The last sign is that there is confirmation of the source of the pain through an imaging system such as an with an MRI.
These signs need not be present if the patient is experiencing loss of bladder or bowel control, if the patient is experiencing any progressive motor function loss within their legs, or if the patient is experiencing any type of consistent debilitating pain. In these situations none of the four signs of the AAOS need be present to warrant immediate surgery.
If a patient has all of four conditions prescribed by the AAOS, then it is in their best interest to have the surgery within months of the identification of the condition. On average orthopedic surgeons that perform surgery for sciatic recommend, on average, a waiting period of under 5 months with many preferring to perform the surgery within 6-8 weeks. Studies have shown that waiting beyond 12 months can severely reduce the effectiveness of the sciatica surgery.
It has been found that surgery for sciatica is an effective treatment and does bring relief of symptoms faster than traditional nonsurgical treatments. Though studies have shown that the long term difference between patients that seek out a surgical solution and those that continue on long term nonsurgical treatment regimens have similar long run results. This similarity of results is only for the cases that have exhibited the AAOS four signs of surgery for sciatica and are not for those that have an immediate need for surgery.
Those that have the immediate need for surgery that was identified above, have historically shown positive results from their surgery and have proven that surgery for sciatica is a rational course of treatment for anyone suffering from this condition.
For other Sciatic nerve treatment methods click the link