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Sciatica Pain

The sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, is formed by a bundle of nerve roots that come out of the lower portion of the spinal cord. This complex nerve runs from the sacral plexus into the spinal column on each side, out through the buttocks, down the back of the leg, and extends into the calf and foot. Pain associated with the route of the sciatic nerve is known as sciatica.

Pain from sciatica is often more prominent on one side than the other--depending on the underlying cause. Because the most common cause of sciatica is a ruptured disc, one side tends to be more compressed than the other. In some cases, however, the total joint can be compressed, thereby affecting both extremities.

Treatment for Sciatica Pain
Other causes of sciatica pain include bone spurs, arthritis, and tumors. In order to determine the precise cause of the pain, and the appropriate intervention, diagnostic testing such as an MRI or CT scan is needed. The first line of treatment is generally conservative and includes pharmacological treatment for discomfort and inflammation. In many cases, however, the only resolution to sciatica pain is surgical intervention.

At The Bonati Institute, surgical procedures to alleviate sciatica pain most often require the repair of a bulging or herniated lumbar disc. With only a small incision and a local anesthetic, the portion of the disc causing the nerve irritation is removed. Specially adapted laser and endoscopic instruments are used with minimal tissue damage. Many patients realize an immediate improvement in their levels of pain.

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