Can an Orthopedic Doctor Help With Sciatica?

A women suffering sciatica in her lower back

You shouldn’t have to live every day in pain. Talk to an orthopedic doctor about your treatment options.

Sciatica is a type of lower back and spine pain that can carry through to the night, causing you to lose sleep. It can happen in most people over the age of 40, but if you think you are struggling with sciatica, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Schedule an appointment with one of the New York City orthopedic surgeons at Island Musculoskeletal Care (IMC Bone Doc) today.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is nerve pain that stretches down the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the lower back and continues down through to each leg. Although the nerve extends through both legs, people who suffer from sciatica will feel pain in only one leg. It is rare to feel symptoms in both legs. Instead, the pain can be felt down the lower back, through to your thigh, calf, and into your foot. Symptoms also include numbness, tingling, and the sensation of pins and needles.

What kind of doctor can treat sciatica?

There are many different reasons and causes for having sciatica. Since sciatica is pain that affects the nervous system, you may think a neurologist is the type of doctor you need. However, although they may be able to diagnose sciatica, depending on the severity, you may need to see an orthopedic doctor. Orthopedists specialize in injuries and damage to bones, muscles, joints, and soft tissue. In addition, they have expertise in treating lower back pain and spinal conditions related to sciatica.

Sciatica pain starts in the lower back, deep into your spine. A herniated disc can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica. Other conditions like osteoarthritis and spondylolisthesis can also cause sciatica. Any damage to your lower back or vertebral bone can result in sciatica as well. If you have any of these medical conditions, an orthopedic doctor can diagnose your sciatic nerve pain and recommend the right medical treatment for you.

Sciatica treatment

The pain sciatica causes can make it difficult to do everyday tasks like sitting and standing and can make it difficult to move your legs and feet. Treatment will depend on the severity of your sciatica. If your sciatica is minor, successful treatments might include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Heat and ice therapy
  • Stretches and exercise

Sometimes nonsurgical procedures are not enough to treat sciatica. An orthopedic doctor might recommend any of the following surgeries:

  • Foraminotomy surgery – This surgery enlarges the area of a bone in your spinal column to relieve pressure on your nerves.
  • Discectomy surgery – If your sciatica was caused by a herniated disc, this procedure will remove that disc to relieve nerve compression.
  • Laminotomy – This surgery will remove the back part of your spinal bone that is putting pressure on a specific area.

Get the treatment you need from an experienced orthopedic surgeon.

Everyone has a different pain tolerance. For example, someone with sciatica could be treated with medications, while another person may need surgery. Contact us to make an appointment to explore your options and figure out the best medical treatment for you. We have seven offices located in New York City and Long Island, including The Bronx, Brooklyn, Deer Park, Patchogue, Queens, Shirley, and Valley Stream.

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