Sciatica Treatment in Dallas
Sciatica describes radiating pain that results from a compressed or inflamed sciatic nerve. Also known as lumbar radiculopathy, sciatica usually affects one side of the body. In addition, certain spine conditions can exacerbate the problem. However, the good news is that sciatica typically resolves from a conservative approach rather than a surgical intervention.
What Causes Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the body’s longest and thickest nerve. It runs from the lumbar spine down the leg. When this nerve is pinched or irritated, pain can shoot down the buttocks, hip, and leg. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disk that compresses the nerve roots. Degenerative disc disease, bone spurs, and stenosis of the spine can also cause sciatic pain. Some 40 percent of Americans experience sciatica at some point in their lives. It may develop suddenly due to injury or trauma or slowly over time.
Symptoms of Sciatica
Sciatica is not technically a spine condition but rather the term for sciatic nerve pain. This pain manifests in different ways. For example, some people describe it as a burning sensation, whereas others complain of sharp jolts. While sciatica can develop on both sides of the body, it is typically unilateral.
Common sciatica symptoms include:
- Pain that affects the lower back, buttocks, and leg
- Pins and needles sensation in your legs or feet
- Burning or tingling in the hip and leg
- Numbness or weakness of the leg or foot
- A stabbing pain that makes it difficult to stand or walk
Proper sciatica treatment will depend on the underlying cause and severity of symptoms.
How Is Sciatica Diagnosed?
Sciatica is primarily diagnosed through a physical examination and medical history. Dr. David Barnett may also use Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) testing to assess the function of the nerves that control skeletal muscles.
Clinical tests for sciatica back pain include:
- Slump test: While seated with hands behind the back, the patient bends forward at the hip with the chin touching the chest and one knee extended.
- Straight leg raise: The patient lies on their back and lifts one leg while the other is bent at the knee or flat.
Sciatica Surgery & Non-Surgical Treatment
Dr. Barnett strives to treat patients without surgery whenever possible. Non-surgical sciatica treatment may encompass a combination of steroid injections, anti-inflammatory medications, nerve blocks, and physiotherapy.
Surgery for sciatica is reserved for cases involving severe nerve compression lasting more than two months. patients with significant weakness and numbness or in patients where both legs are affected. Dr. Barnett specializes in minimally-invasive spine surgery, which can correct the underlying cause.
Both surgeries can provide lasting pain relief by eliminating pressure on the sciatic nerve. They are performed on an outpatient basis and promise faster recoveries and minimal scarring.
- Lumbar microdiscectomy – an operation that improves sciatica stemming from a herniated disc
- Lumbar microscopic decompression – this surgical procedure is indicated when sciatica is caused by degenerative discs, stenosis, tumors, or herniated lumbar discs
Dallas-Fort Worth Sciatica Specialist
If you would like more information about sciatica treatment and whether surgery is indicated by Dallas neurosurgeon Dr. Barnett, we invite you to reach out for a consultation. In practice for nearly three decades, Dr. Barnett is a renowned neurosurgeon providing cutting-edge treatment to patients throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
What Our Patients Have to Say
From start to finish, Dr. Barnett and his staff were always informative and professional. Dr. Barnett performed my neck surgery and lower back surgery all during a pandemic and everything worked out perfect. Highly recommend Dr. Barnett. Top notch.
Contact us to schedule a consultation and let us help you start feeling better today.