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What is involved in laser surgery for sciatica?

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Laser sciatica surgery aims to remove the cause of the sciatic nerve compression through either a highly invasive open-back surgery that removes large chunks of the spine and fuses the segments together or a minimally invasive procedure that removes portions of the spine using small cuts, according to the Laser Spine Institute. Recovery from the minimally invasive surgery takes a short period while that from open-back surgery take several months.

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Sciatica is a condition in which injury to or deterioration of the lower spine region and degenerative spine conditions such as herniated discs, bone spurs, bulging discs, vertebral slippage and ligament calcification cause sciatic nerve compression, explains the Laser Spine Institute. Symptoms of the condition include pain that radiates into the buttocks, pain in the lower back and numbness in the feet. A sufferer can manage the symptoms with exercise, stretching and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs.

When symptoms of sciatica persist after weeks or months of non-surgical treatment, doctors recommend laser sciatica surgery as a last resort to ease the pain, states the Laser Spine Institute. Doctors also refer to the patient's overall health and the source of his sciatic nerve compression determine the type of sciatic surgery he undergoes.

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