Is Sciatica Surgery Right For You?
Are you suffering from sciatica and wondering if you will ever feel better? Are you ready to consider anything that will alleviate your pain, even surgery? Sciatica surgery is a valid way to treat the condition, but it’s not the only way. Before you jump into surgery, there are a few things that you should consider. Make sure that surgery is right for you.
Sciatica surgery is more effective for some causes of the condition than it is for others. Make sure that you know why you have sciatica and that a doctor has confirmed that surgery may be right for you. If your sciatica is caused by something that doesn’t respond well to surgical treatment, you may not even want to consider it as an option. Talk with your doctor and have imaging done to confirm the cause of your sciatica before you even discuss whether surgery might be right for you.
Consider, too, whether you have tried all of the other treatments available to you. Have you tried pain medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, meditation, nerve blocks, aquatic therapy, and more? If it’s true that nothing is working, then sciatica surgery is more likely to be an option that you need to consider. If you haven’t tried everything, though, you may have options short of surgery. Different doctors also treat sciatica differently. Talk to a pain specialist before you decide that surgery is your only option.
You will also want to consider how much your sciatica is holding you back in life. If it is keeping you from a lot of activities that you love or it has made you homebound, surgery is much more likely to be an option than it is if your sciatica comes and goes or hasn’t changed your life very much. A diminished quality of life can lead to depression and anxiety, which only make the whole situation worse. Be sure to consider your life as a whole when you’re deciding about sciatica surgery.
Be realistic about what sciatica surgery could achieve for you. Most people experience a significant alleviation of their pain post-surgery, though very few experience no sciatic nerve pain ever again. A 90 percent alleviation of pain is ideal. However, your doctor cannot guarantee that the surgery will work at all. You need to know this before going in, and decide whether or not it’s worth it to you to take the risk of surgery if you may not reap any rewards.
This is actually what the whole decision comes down to: are there more potential benefits or more risks for you? Every surgery has risks. Because sciatica surgeries often involve your spinal cord and nerves, they may have even more risks. If you are overweight, smoke, have high blood pressure, or have diabetes, your risks are even higher.
Only you can decide whether sciatica surgery is right for you. However, at Boulder Neurosurgical and Spine Associates, we have professionals who can help you answer some of these questions. Call us to schedule your sciatica consultation today.