Sciatica is a general term describing symptoms that result from injury to the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body, which travels from the base of the spine to the feet and toes.  The sciatic nerve controls the muscles in the legs and feet and provides sensation to these areas.  When the sciatic nerve is pinched due to a slipped disc, herniated disc, disc protrusion, bone spur or other spinal problem in the lower back, sciatica can occur. Contributing factors may include normal degenerative changes of the aging process, sports injury, tumor, infection or other disease processes.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatica can cause pain that originates in the lower back and extends to the buttocks, legs and feet. Shooting pain in the legs, cramping, muscle weakness, tingling sensation and numbness are also common symptoms of sciatica. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the body, but it can affect both, and in severe cases sciatica can result in loss of mobility.

Treatment of Sciatica

Nonsurgical treatments for sciatica include rest, special exercises, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication. In severe cases, surgery for sciatica may be indicated.  Surgery is usually indicated when conservative nonsurgical treatment methods fail.  However, in cases of sudden onset of weakness such as a foot drop, the patient should be alerted to seek neurosurgical consultation immediately.  Surgical treatment involves decompressing the sciatic nerve from the offending disc, bone spur, or tumor in an effort to preserve its function.

At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for sciatica and many other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for sciatica. Dr. Lipani offers image guided spine surgery approaches for sciatica treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient. For state-of-the-art sciatica treatment, call or email us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Hamilton, New Jersey or Bridgewater, New Jersey!

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