Sciatica surgery is usually considered after non-surgical treatments have not helped the pain or if the pain progresses despite these non-surgical treatments. Sciatica surgery aims to eliminate the cause of sciatica and control the symptoms of pain and weakness in the legs.
Before undergoing a surgical procedure, it’s understandable to have questions. It’s important to be proactive about your health, and asking the right questions is a great way to stay on top of your health.
5 Questions to Ask Before Sciatica Surgery
No one wants to be confused about their health, especially when undergoing a surgical procedure. Here are five questions to ask your doctor before your sciatic surgery to be sure that you understand exactly what’s happening and why.
What Is Causing My Sciatica Pain?
Doctors can sometimes be quick to diagnose and provide solutions without really explaining the cause of your pain. Their goal is to provide you with the best treatment possible, and in their eagerness to get you well, they can forget to slow down and explain details to you. However, understanding the source of your pain can bring clarity and help you feel more at ease.
Possible reasons for sciatic pain include:
- A herniated disc in the lower back
- Spinal stenosis: the narrowing of the spinal canal
- Spondylolisthesis: slipped or misaligned vertebrae
- Degeneration of the spine due to wear and tear that results in bone spurs
- Cyst or tumor in the spine
Most of these causes can be addressed with surgery. However, surgery is rarely the first treatment option.
How Is Sciatica Affecting My Quality of Life?
Another element to understanding your condition is understanding how it affects your life. While you may understand what your sciatica does to your quality of life, genuinely comprehending how much it affects your life can help you decide which treatment option is best for you. If your work, hobbies, and general enjoyment of life are being negatively impacted by your sciatica pain and other treatment options have not helped, it’s a good indicator that it’s time to consider surgery.
Which Treatments Have You Already Tried, and Are There Others to Try Before Surgery?
There are several treatment options for sciatica pain that don’t involve surgery. However, treatment plans depend entirely on the individual’s condition and unique needs. These treatment plans can include:
- Pain relief medication
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Aquatic therapy
- Nerve blocks
If you are not entirely comfortable with the idea of surgery, make sure that your doctor has provided you with all the possible non-surgical treatment options for you. If you have exhausted all non-surgical treatments, a spine specialist will help ensure that you have a successful sciatica surgery.
What Are the Goals for This Surgery?
Deciding to undergo sciatic surgery is an important decision. Understanding your doctor’s goal for the surgery and your post-surgery journey can help you make an informed decision. Recovery time depends on the type of sciatica surgery and the individual. Discussing recovery goals and timelines can help you form a clear idea of whether or not surgery is the best course of treatment.
Do the Benefits of Surgery Outweigh the Risks?
Most medical treatments and procedures come with some risk. Sciatica surgery is no different. There are general risks of infection, blood clots, nerve damage, and risk factors specific to your background. Your general health can play a significant role in the success of your surgery. If you are seriously considering sciatica surgery, it’s essential to speak with a spinal specialist who can examine your physical symptoms and help assess any other factors that may impact your treatment options.
NJ Spine & Orthopedic Can Help Treat Your Sciatica Pain
NJ Spine & Orthopedic is known for being a leader in the field of minimally invasive treatments for spinal health. Our award-winning team of orthopedic specialists is determined to help patients find pain relief with the least invasive approach possible so they can go back to their everyday lives as quickly as possible.
If you are experiencing sciatica pain, our spinal specialist can build a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs. Schedule an appointment at (866) 272-9271 or fill out our contact form.