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Orange County Sciatica Treatment

Our Spine Surgeons Help You Find Relief

The sciatica nerve is the longest in the body, and it branches from the path of the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and down the back of each leg. Typically, sciatica, also called lumbar radiculopathy, only affects one leg. Sciatica is most common in those who have a herniated disk, bone spur, or spinal stenosis. This can cause inflammation, discomfort, and even numbness in the affected leg. Fortunately, most patients recover from sciatica within a few weeks of their first nonoperative appointment at Hoag Orthopedic Institute, even if their pain is severe. However, those with severe sciatic pain who suffer from significant leg weakness or incontinence may be good candidates for surgery.

Symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Lower back pain radiating down the back of the thigh down through the foot (usually only one)
  • Numbness, weakness, and incontinence, in severe cases
  • Pain symptoms that vary widely from a dull ache to sharp, burning pain that can even feel like an electric shock

Diagnosis of Sciatica

Your orthopedic physician at HOI will check your muscle strength and reflexes during a physical exam, such as asking you to walk on your toes/heels, rise from a squatting position, or lift one leg at a time while lying on your back. Discomfort from any of these activities may indicate a sciatica diagnosis.

Imaging tests may be necessary, especially if your doctor wants to rule out herniated disks or bone spurs that would show up on an X-ray or imaging test, but otherwise have no symptoms. An MRI scan may also be ordered to take detailed images of the bone and soft tissues, including any herniated disks.

Treatment of Sciatica

Typically, sciatic pain is a symptom of an underlying condition such as a degenerative disc disease, herniated disk, bone spur, spondylolisthesis or spinal stenosis. Your doctor may recommend medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, or even surgery as a last resort. Most patients, however, do recover on their own with self-care measures and home exercises. Surgery is reserved for patients whose compressed nerve causes significant symptoms and pain that progressively worsens without responding to other treatments. During surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will treat the underlying problem such as removal of any bone spurs or a portion of a herniated disk pressing on your pinched nerve.

Looking for Orange County sciatica treatment? Contact us today at (855) 999-4641 at Hoag Orthopedic Institute for further information and to arrange your first appointment.

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