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Sciatica – Surgery

January 17, 2022


One of the most common questions I’m asked every day is, when is it a reasonable time to decide about having surgery for sciatica? And when is it okay to wait to make that decision? In the absence of significant or progressive weakness in the leg, significant or progressive numbness in the leg, or any bowel or bladder incontinence, the question of when to have surgery is really a quality of life issue. With any surgical decision, there’s a balance between risks of surgery and benefits of surgery. So if the symptoms are improving on their own and they’re not hindering your quality of life in a significant way, then it is very reasonable to wait and see if they can get better on their own and resolve. If the symptoms are worsening or significantly hindering the quality of life, then at that point, the benefits of surgery may outweigh the risks of surgery, and it becomes reasonable to go through with the procedure in order to get rid of the pain and get back to your functional quality of life.

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