Sciatica Specialist

Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine

Orthopedic Spine Surgery & Neurosurgery located in Englewood, NJ, Jersey City, NJ, West New York, NJ, Staten Island, NY, Ridgewood, NJ, & Bayonne, NJ

Shooting pain that goes through your hip and buttock and down one leg is a telltale symptom of sciatica. If you have pain like this, the skilled team at Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine can help. At locations in Englewood, Jersey City, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Bayonne, New Jersey, as well as the Castleton Corners area of Staten Island in New York City, they provide both conservative therapies and cutting-edge procedures to resolve the underlying cause of sciatica. Call the Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine office nearest you or book an appointment online today.

Sciatica Q & A

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a term for symptoms of leg pain, numbness, and stiffness originating in the lower back. It's not a specific diagnosis; rather, it indicates an underlying problem like a ruptured (slipped) disc that’s causing nerve compression.

Sciatica pain travels down from your lower back through your hip or buttock and into your leg via the large sciatic nerve. This nerve descends from your lumbar spine and divides into two, with one branch continuing down each leg to your foot.

What symptoms does sciatica cause?

Sciatica symptoms are likely to include:

  • Constant pain affecting one leg
  • Jarring pain when sitting down
  • Difficulty standing and walking
  • Numbness in the foot and ankle
  • Numbness in the thigh

While it's possible for sciatica to affect both legs, it's far more common to experience symptoms in only one leg.

What might be causing sciatica?

If you have sciatica, it could be due to a condition such as:

Degenerative disc disease

Degenerative disc disease is typically a result of aging, where a gradual breakdown of the spinal discs occurs over time. The discs become harder and flatter, so they're unable to absorb shock.

Lumbar disc herniation

Lumbar disc herniation or a slipped disc is where damage to a disc in your lower back forces the jelly-like fluid inside to push through the outer layer.

Lumbar spinal stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space between the vertebra in your lower back, which leads to nerve compression.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a problem that causes spinal misalignment when one vertebra overhangs another.

Factors that can increase your risk of developing sciatica include obesity, smoking, pregnancy, and sleeping in an awkward position.

What treatments are available for sciatica?

The team at Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine uses conservative approaches initially. Treatments could include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Activity modification
  • Various physical therapies
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Spinal cord stimulation

Physical therapy can be very effective in easing sciatica, but it may be difficult to manage the exercises due to the pain’s severity. Epidural steroid injections can help reduce sciatica pain sufficiently for you to participate in physical therapy.

Would I need surgery for sciatica?

For a majority of patients, surgery isn't necessary for sciatica. However, if no other treatments are working, surgeries such as microdiscectomy, artificial disc replacement, and discectomy and fusion could all remedy the compression of your sciatic nerve.

To find effective and practical solutions to painful sciatica, call Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine today or book an appointment online.