pinched nerve in the back
All of the nerves that go into your legs and feet first pass through your spinal cord in your back. If these nerves are pinched or inflamed this will often result in pain not only in the back but also shooting into the buttock, legs or feet. This can be an ache, tingle, burning or lightning-like shooting pain.
Common causes of pinched nerves are disk disease (disc rupture, bulge or herniation are terms commonly used) as well as bone spurs or overgrown joints.
This pain can range from mild and annoying to severe and incapacitating with weakness depending on the individual.
Healthy back illustration with labeled vertebrae (bones). Notice that the nerves (blue) are free.
To actually see the nerves in your neck and any associated herniated disks, bone spurs, or other causes of inflammation an MRI is almost always required. An MRI is a test that uses a magnet to give a high resolution image. MRIs take longer than an x-ray but both are painless.
Herniated disc (red) is impinging the nerve. This would cause back or leg pain, also known as radiculopathy.
The good news is that most people with a pinched nerve will respond to a course of conservative, or nonsurgical treatment. This is in the form of medications, physical therapy, stretching and lifestyle modifications. Often anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids are utilized to help reduce inflammation. These medications can be injected directly onto the nerve for even better relief.
Sometimes the pain is severe, progressing, or not responding to nonsurgical options. In these cases surgery may be required to remove the material irritating the nerve (be it disc, bone, or ligament) and provide long term relief.
Sometimes the pain is severe, getting worse, or not responding to nonsurgical options. In these cases surgery may be required to remove the material irritating the nerve (be it bone, ligament, or disk) and provide long term relief.
Dr. Rossi is proud to be trained in the latest minimally invasive techniques. This means a smaller incision is used compared to traditional “open” surgery and less muscle and tissue damage occurs. This has been shown to decrease blood loss, length of stay in the hospital and a quicker return to activities.
Dr. Rossi has published articles related to minimally invasive spine surgery in the most prestigious neurosurgery journals in the world. His article was selected as “editor’s choice” with nearly 200 citations on his work.
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