Treatments & Surgery
California Neurosurgical Institute
Encino CA & Valencia CA
The pain of sciatica doesn’t just make your back hurt; it can travel all the way down one leg or even both.
If you have sciatica and it’s not responding to treatment, the board-certified specialist physicians at California Neurosurgical Institute can help with a range of sciatica treatments.
If you live in or near Encino, or Valencia, California, you could benefit from the world-class skills of the neurosurgeons at California Neurosurgical Institute.
Call your nearest office today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Sciatica Q & A
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a back problem that develops when something irritates or compresses the sciatic nerve. It causes pain in your lower back that travels through your hip and buttock and down one leg, following the path of the sciatic nerve.
The compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve that triggers sciatica could come from one of several causes, the most common being:
- Herniated or bulging disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Sciatica tends to affect younger, active adults, but can develop at any age.
What are the symptoms of sciatica?
Sciatica can cause other symptoms in addition to the radiating pain, including:
- Loss of function
- Pins and needles
- Tingling sensations
- Muscle weakness
- Sciatica pain is often worse at night and could disturb your sleep.
How is sciatica treated?
Many patients find that their sciatica clears up after a course of conservative treatments such as:
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy
- Stretching exercises
- Epidural steroid injections
- Sciatic nerve blocks
The team at California Neurosurgical Institute uses the least invasive therapies to start your sciatica treatment.
The majority of cases respond to these conservative measures, but if your sciatica isn’t improving, then you might need to consider surgery.
When is surgery used to treat sciatica?
Surgery is usually only considered when conservative treatments aren’t improving your symptoms after six months.
However, there are some cases in which the team at California Neurosurgical Institute might recommend surgery sooner:
Cauda equina syndrome
This is a medical emergency involving the bundle of nerves at the base of your spine called the cauda equina. Compression of these nerves leads to a loss of sensation and movement in your lower body.
Sciatica normally only affects one leg, but in some cases, it affects both. This can be due to a particularly bad herniated disc, a series of herniated discs, or central spinal stenosis.
Other reasons you might need sciatica surgery sooner rather than later include:
- Severe lumbar fractures
- Pelvic infection
One of the main surgeries used to treat sciatica is lumbar disc microsurgery. This is a minimally invasive procedure for sciatica that’s due to a herniated spinal disc.
Your surgeon at California Neurosurgical Institute uses endoscopic instruments that fit inside very small incisions to remove pieces of the disc that are pressing on your sciatic nerve.
Other options that your surgeon might recommend, depending on the cause of your sciatica, include lumbar decompression surgeries such as: