Mercy Spinal Surgeon Dr. Justin Park Discusses Diagnosis and Treatment of Sciatica
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.
View Dr. Justin Park’s interview regarding sciatica.
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 top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.
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