Robotic-assisted spine surgery is an advanced technology that makes minimally invasive spinal procedures even less invasive, safer and less painful. As patients become more aware of this technology, they are naturally curious as to whether it can help their specific condition. One of the more common questions asked is “Can robotic spine surgery fix leg pain?”
Of course, leg pain can be caused by a multitude of different issues, but for leg pain that emerges from problems in the lower spine, the short answer is that robotic surgery may be able to help. Let’s expand on that statement a bit.
If you’re experiencing leg pain that originates in the lower back, there’s a good chance the pain is being caused by sciatica, a condition caused by pressure against the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that extends from the lower back down the back of each leg. When undue pressure is put on this nerve, the pain shoots down through the buttocks into the leg, sometimes to the point of causing numbness, weakness and an inability to move without excruciating pain.
Common Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica usually originates with some sort of injury or degenerative condition in the lumbar region of the spine. Sciatica may be caused by any of the following:
- Degenerative disc disease (a natural thinning/hardening of the discs supporting the lower vertebrae
- Lumbar spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal putting pressure on the nerve)
- Lumbar herniated disc (a protrusion of the soft material of one or more discs in the lower back, affecting the nerve)
- Spondylolisthesis (a small stress fracture that causes one vertebra to slip over another)
Any of these conditions effectively can result in some sort of misalignment of the spine and/or undue pressure on the sciatic nerve. The result is usually shooting or burning leg pain.
How Robotic Spine Surgery Can Help
Sciatica can be addressed by performing minimally invasive surgery to correct the cause of pressure on the sciatic nerve. With the conditions mentioned above, one of the more common surgical approaches is to make a small, precise incision in the lower back to remove the tissue or bone affecting the nerve, and perhaps perform a spinal fusion to stabilize that portion of the spine. Robotic-assisted surgery enables surgeons to perform these procedures with much higher levels of accuracy while also reducing the risk of infection and making recovery times generally faster.
If you’re experiencing leg pain emanating from the lower back and would like to see if you’re a good candidate for robotic spine surgery to fix your leg pain, the best way to find out is to consult with an experienced neurosurgeon. Call Polaris Spine and Neurosurgery Center for an appointment at 404-256-2633.