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Why Is Surgery For Sciatica Not Suitable For Everyone?

February 23, 2022

Why is surgery for sciatica not suitable for everyone

Shalby Team

Spine Surgery


Sciatica is a pain that radiates along the radiate nerve and is experienced in the back, around the hips, and outer or the backside of the leg. This is usually caused due to compression in the sciatic nerve which runs down either one or both legs, starting from the lower back. Common treatments for relief from sciatica symptoms include physiotherapy and medication. However, when these do not work, a person can choose to get a sciatica surgery done to deal with the problem.

Shalby Multi-Specialty Hospitals are among the best hospitals in India which offer effective treatment for sciatica. You will find efficient spine surgeons in Jabalpur branch of Shalby who offer the best treatments for this issue. Read further to understand when you require surgery for sciatica and why sciatica surgery is not suitable for everyone.

When Is Surgery for Sciatica Recommended?

Surgery for sciatica varies for everyone and the type of surgery you will need depends upon the underlying cause of this painful problem. Surgery for sciatica is often recommended when the underlying conditions are serious concerns, in the following situations:

  • If sciatica occurs because of cauda equina syndrome. This syndrome occurs when there is a compression in nerve roots present in the lumbar spine which in turn affects sensation and movement. This is a cause of concern because certain nerve roots which are responsible for controlling the function of the bladder and bowel become vulnerable to damage.
  • If sciatica occurs because of vertebral osteomyelitis infection
  • In cases when sciatica occurs because of spinal tumors
  • When sciatica occurs because of lumbar disc herniation also referred to as bulging or ruptured disc and usually affects the lower back. This is one of the leading causes of sciatica.

Surgery for sciatica might also prove to be an effective treatment in cases when:

  • The pain in the leg or foot, or both, turns severe and this is also accompanied by certain progressive neurological symptoms, which include weakness or numbness.
  • Various non-surgical forms of treatment have been tried such as physiotherapy, injections, or oral medications, and they have not been effective in bringing about the required relief.
  • The functionality of legs gets significantly impacted and limited and you face troubles while performing day-to-day activities, chores, or other occupation-related tasks.

Different Types of Surgeries to Treat Sciatica

As stated earlier, the type of surgery for treating sciatica usually depends upon the underlying conditions and causes for sciatica pain. Some common surgery options for treating sciatica are:

Microdiscectomy – In this type of surgery, the surgeon removes or takes out a small part of the disc, either with the adjacent bone or without it. This helps in relieving the compression on the nerve root.

Lumbar Decompression – In this surgery, two distinct methods can be used to relieve pressure on roots of the nerve. These methods include:

Laminectomy – Lamina is the posterior part of the vertebra. In this method, some part or at times, all of the lamina is taken out or removed so as to make more space for the spinal nerves.

Foraminotomy – In this method, neural foramina are enlarged. These are bony openings for the spinal nerves. The overgrown bone is trimmed for enlarging neuroforamina, and this gives more space to the roots of the nerves when they exit the spinal canal.

Open Lumbar Laminectomy – This is also known as open decompression and is performed in cases where sciatica is a result of severe nerve compression having various causes. This surgery is marked by larger surgical incisions being performed.

Why Is Surgery For Sciatica Not Suitable For Everyone And Its Long-Term Outcomes?

As per medical evidence and research, getting surgery done for sciatica might benefit you immediately. However, in the longer run, both surgical, as well as non-surgical treatments, show similar outcomes. These outcomes are primarily dependent on the type of surgery that has been performed and also the severity of the problems which gave rise to sciatica. Apart from these, there are other factors that influence these outcomes, which include, age, past history of sciatica, and injurious habits like smoking. Sciatica surgery is usually performed with the aim of improving the functionality of the legs and reducing pain. However, if you experience localized pain in your back, sciatica surgery might not be helpful in relieving it.

Sciatica surgery involves careful consideration of various factors and underlying causes and is not suitable for everyone because, at times, some factors might interrupt the successful performance of the surgery. At times, you might feel the need to get a surgery done, but might not actually require it and instead benefit from non-surgical treatment options. Studies show that smoking, hypertension, diabetes, and also the duration and history of sciatica pain can also affect the outcome. Thus, some individuals with comorbidities might be at a higher risk of certain surgical complications as compared to others. Thus, sciatica surgery is not suitable for everyone.


Surgical treatment for sciatica helps to preserve the proper functioning of the legs and helps in improving the quality of life. Shalby Multi-specialty Hospitals has the best spine specialist in Jabalpur branch, who you can consult for treatment options for sciatica. A spine specialist or a doctor should always be approached before taking any major decisions with regard to surgery as they can give you a clear picture of your problem, make you aware of the outcomes and consequences of the surgery, and will be efficient in deciding the best treatment option for you.


Shalby Team

Shalby Hospitals (Shalby Limited) is recognised as a multispecialty hospital chain in the Indian healthcare industry. Dr Vikram I. Shah established the first hospital in 1994 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Dr. Shah has been felicitated by Ethicon India for the development…


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