Mercy Spinal Surgeon Dr. Justin Park Discusses Diagnosis and Treatment of Sciatica
August 29, 2016
Medical experts say that half the population will experience sciatica. But in some cases it can be so painful that a person cannot function.
Dina Aaron understands this better than most people. For her, just walking down the steps can be a major feat.
"It had gone on for so long I thought I'm never going to get better,” Aaron said. “It's just the way my life is going to be so it's really scary for a while.”
At first, Aaron’s sciatica prevented her from doing simple things she enjoyed, like walking the dogs and it kept getting worse.
"I got to the point where I was unable to walk some days and unable to dress myself from the waist down some day,” Aaron said.
Aaron, who works as a pediatric nurse, said she was in so much pain, work was unbearable.
According to spinal surgeon Dr. Justin Park of The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy, sciatica is caused by a compressed spinal nerve root. He said it is easy to diagnose and very common.
“The vast majority of sciatica is non-operative,” Dr. Park said. “So a brief period of rest, medications and physical therapy. And if things like that don't work, sometimes I will send them for an epidural injection."
Aaron tried all of those treatments, but nothing worked. Dr. Park then performed outpatient surgery and Aaron said she can't believe she is not in pain anymore.
"Every day I get better and better,” said Aaron, who added that she is planning to return to work soon.
To view Dr. Justin Park’s interview regarding sciatica, click here.
Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.
Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations