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What causes sciatic nerve damage?

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Quick Answer

Sciatic nerve damage most commonly occurs as a side effect of back surgery. It can also be caused by car accidents, gunshot wounds and other serious traumas, reports The Sciatica Authority.

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Sciatic nerve damage usually involves one of the five spinal nerve roots that join to form the sciatic nerve but can involve its entire structure. Surgical procedures are responsible for spinal nerve damage more than any other single cause and can result from poor surgical technique, iatrogenic error, scar tissue formation or idiopathic causes, claims The Sciatica Authority.

In cases of significant injury, damage can be actual, structural and irreparable although the nerve may partially or even fully regenerate. In many cases, however, the damage to the sciatic nerve may not have been caused by the original injury or degenerative process, but by subsequent treatments, such as epidural injections. Proper rehabilitation helps increase the likelihood of increased functionality, according to The Sciatica Authority.

The sciatic nerve extends from the lower back down the back of each leg. Pain affecting this nerve is called sciatica, which usually affects only one side of the lower body. Symptoms typically include burning or tingling down the leg, weakness, numbness, and difficulty moving the leg or foot, reports WebMD.

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