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Lumbar Microdiscectomy and Treatment of Sciatica

At some point in your life, you’re likely to experience some kind of back pain. Whether it’s a pulled muscle, a pinched nerve, or something more serious, it’ll likely take a toll on your daily activities. One of the conditions you may experience is called sciatica. The pain of this condition can literally leave you speechless. Luckily, there are treatments that can help.

At Kellogg Brain and Spine, our expert team helps you determine the best plan of action to get you pain free as soon as possible. Dr. Jordi X. Kellogg is our amazing neurosurgeon who specializes in all kinds of spine treatments, including surgery to help relieve your ongoing discomfort. No matter what kind of back issue you’re dealing with, Dr. Kellogg can help.

What exactly is sciatica?

Sciatica is a lower back condition that’s created when your sciatic nerve becomes compressed or inflamed. It’s usually caused by another problem in your spine, such as a herniated disc.

Your sciatic nerve originates in your lower back and then branches out down both sides of your buttocks and into both legs. Sciatica usually only affects one side or the other. The primary symptom you’ll experience with sciatica is nerve pain that starts in your low back and travels down one of your legs, possibly even below your knee. 

The pain is sometimes described as sharp or burning, and can feel like an electric shock at times. It can vary from a mild ache to excruciating and unbearable. Some people also experience tingling and numbness in the lower back and leg. 

In many cases, sciatica resolves on its own with rest and care at home. However, in certain cases where there’s another condition causing you to have sciatic nerve pain, Dr. Kellogg may need to intervene with other treatment options, such as surgery.

When you should see a doctor

Sciatica can really be a nuisance, but it can also really interfere with your life. Although it can sometimes go away on its own after a few weeks, sciatica may continue to cause you discomfort for months. In this case, it’s time to seek treatment from Dr. Kellogg. 

Other indications that you should consult our office include:

If you experience any of the above issues, Dr. Kellogg orders imaging studies, such as an MRI, to find out what’s causing the problem. He also performs a detailed exam, along with talking to you about your medical history. If he determines that you have sciatica that’s caused by a herniated disc, he’ll discuss the possibility of a surgical procedure called microdiscectomy.

How can lumbar microdiscectomy help?

Because sciatica is sometimes caused by a herniated disc, conservative treatments might not be enough to kick the pain for good. If you’ve been experiencing pain for more than three months without significant relief, surgery might be the next step. This is where Dr. Kellogg recommends a minimally invasive type of surgery known as a microdiscectomy

The purpose of a microdiscectomy is to relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve, giving you almost instant relief of your symptoms. 

During the procedure, you’ll be under anesthesia so you don’t feel anything. Dr. Kellogg makes a small incision in your lower back where the herniated disc is. He then cuts away the damaged parts of the herniated disc, and possibly some of the bone, that’s compressing the nerve. This takes the pressure off of the nerve, relieving the pain associated with sciatica. 

Because this is a minimally invasive procedure, you have very little scarring and only minimal damage to your tissues. This means a quicker recovery and less time in the hospital compared to traditional spine surgery.

If you’re tired of dealing with the pain of sciatica and are ready to explore your treatment options, call one of our offices in Portland or Wilsonville, Oregon, to schedule an appointment, or book a consultation while you’re here on the website.

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