Surgery & Sciatica

Types of Surgery for Sciatica

Sciatica symptoms can sometimes be difficult to handle, but are otherwise manageable with proper lifestyle changes and general spinal treatment. Good posture, a straight back, and managing some of the causes of sciatica are often helpful enough to relieve some of the worse sciatica symptoms, and possibly even cure it completely.

Yet in some cases the sciatica can struggle to relieve itself on its own, and may require surgery to help fix the cause of sciatica. When this occurs, you may want to opt for sciatica surgery to help relieve some of the pain and reduce the likelihood the sciatica returns.

2 Types of Sciatica Surgery


  • Discectomy or Microdiscectomy
    When a herniated disc does not appear to be healing on its own, one type of surgery you may choose to undergo is a discectomy. A discectomy is a type of surgery where the surgeon removes the pieces of herniated disc. In some cases they may remove the entire disc. This is an especially common choice surgery when it does not appear the disc is healing on its own.

    Microdiscectomy is a related surgery that is simply less invasive. First the surgeon uses a small microscope to spot all of the pieces of disc that are pressing near the nerve, and follows that up by creating minor surgical cuts to take out those small pieces directly, rather than searching for them as would be necessary in a full discectomy.

  • Laminectomy or Laminotomy
    Since sciatica can be caused by too much compression on a specific area of the spine, a laminectomy may be used to relieve that pressure. Laminectomies involve the removal of a small, bony plate on the back of the spine with the goal of allowed more room for the spine to move without pushing against the nerve. Laminotomies, like microdiscectomies, are simply a lesser form of the surgery, where the surgeon elects to take a smaller piece of the bone out, rather than the entire plate.

Sciatica Surgery Effectiveness

Sciatica surgery may be a necessary when your sciatica appears to be recurrent, and isn't going away on its own. These surgeries have been shown to be effective methods of relieving pressure against your sciatic nerve (and thus reducing or eliminating the symptoms of sciatica) though it should be noted that in some cases the sciatica can return, such as in the event of another slipped disc.


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