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Chronic Sciatic Nerve Pain: When Is Surgery the Best Option?

Chronic Sciatic Nerve Pain: When Is Surgery the Best Option?

Your back pain may be caused by various conditions, including compression of your nerves. Sciatica is a common condition that leads to pain and other uncomfortable symptoms in your back and legs.

If you have sciatica, you can try several nonsurgical treatments to get your symptoms under control. However, suppose you've tried several treatments without success, and your pain affects your everyday activities. In that case, surgery might be the next step.

Dr. Jordi X. Kellogg and the team at Kellogg Brain and Spine offer sciatic nerve surgery when you have significant, unrelenting pain. Dr. Kellogg is an experienced neurosurgeon with years of practice treating chronic back conditions like sciatica.

The facts on sciatic nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain is a highly uncomfortable condition that affects your back and legs. When you have this condition, pressure on your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back and down both of your legs.

Your sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. Sciatica happens because of other conditions that put pressure on the nerve itself. These conditions include:

When you have sciatica, the pain usually starts in your lower back and extends down one or both legs. The pain may come and go or be relatively constant. It can be severe or mild and affect your everyday activities.

Sciatic nerve pain may feel like an electric shock in your back or can be sharp or shooting in nature. The pain is usually worse in your legs but can sometimes be just as bad in your lower back.

When do you need surgery?

In most cases, Dr. Kellogg can manage sciatica using nonsurgical treatments. These treatments include physical therapy, injections, and medications to help manage your symptoms.

However, there are some cases for which these treatments aren't enough to ease your pain. If sciatica affects your everyday life, Dr. Kellogg may recommend surgical intervention. Other reasons you may need surgery for this condition include the following:

Bowel or bladder problems

Although bowel and bladder issues aren't common, they can occur if you have spinal cord compression. If this happens, Dr. Kellogg suggests surgery to relieve compression on your nerves and cure your bowel and bladder issues.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes narrowing in your spinal canal. Sometimes, surgery is the best option for treating this condition. If you have spinal stenosis causing sciatica, Dr. Kellogg recommends surgery when other options haven't helped.

Neurological issues

If you're having neurological issues like weakness in your legs or feet, Dr. Kellogg may recommend surgery to help. These symptoms can severely affect your life, which is why surgery is a good option.

Nonsurgical treatments haven't helped

Many people get significant relief from sciatic symptoms with nonsurgical treatment options. However, if your pain and symptoms persist despite these treatments, Dr. Kellogg offers spine surgery for relief.

Surgery is often the last resort because it's invasive and requires anesthesia. However, if your symptoms are significantly affecting your life and other treatments haven't helped, Dr. Kellogg provides several types of sciatic surgery to give you long-term relief.

When you can't take your sciatic nerve pain any longer, don't hesitate to call one of our offices in Oregon today, or request an appointment with Dr. Kellogg on our website.

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