Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy is a condition caused by inflammation (radiculitis) or compression (radiculopathy) to the nerve root(s).

This medical condition can also trigger leg and back pain. Radiculopathy can develop anywhere along the spine—from the neck to the middle back down to the lower spine.

Cervical Radiculopathy

Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)

What Is Radiculopathy?

Radiculopathy refers to a set of symptoms that occur when a spinal nerve root is compressed, irritated, or inflamed. This can be caused by a variety of conditions, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, or tumors.

The symptoms of radiculopathy vary depending on the location and severity of the nerve compression, but can include pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area. For example, if a nerve root in the neck is compressed, the person may experience pain or weakness in the arms or hands, while compression of a nerve root in the lower back may cause pain or weakness in the legs or feet.

Treatment for radiculopathy depends on the underlying cause of the nerve compression. Conservative treatment measures may include rest, physical therapy, pain medication, and corticosteroid injections. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the affected nerve root.

If you experience symptoms of radiculopathy, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the cause and appropriate treatment options. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further nerve damage and improve outcomes.

Radiculopathy

RADICULOPATHY VS. SCIATICA

Sciatica and radiculopathy are often used interchangeably to refer to inflammation or compression of the spinal nerve found in the lower back. Radiculopathy is the medical term used for the actual nerve dysfunction secondary to the compression. On the other hand, sciatica refers to the leg or back pain that results from radiculopathy.

Radiculopathy or radicular pain often radiates into the lower extremity (calf, thigh, and sometimes the foot) along a specific spinal nerve root. Sciatica is the most common symptom of radicular pain. With sciatica, leg pain is often worse than the pain in the back. When the higher nerve roots are compressed, radicular pain can be experienced in the shin and the front of the thigh.

Sciatica

Sciatica
Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy

Causes Of Radiculopathy

Radiculopathy can be attributed to various causes, including:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Scar tissue (from previous spinal injuries)
  • Nerve root injury
Causes of Spinal Stenosis

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Symptoms of Lumbar Radiculopathy

Symptoms of Radiculopathy

While most people can fully recover from the condition even without sciatic nerve pain surgery or even pinched nerve treatment, the condition has the potential to cause permanent nerve damage. It is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Sharp and electrical pain and discomfort.
  • Uncomfortable tingling sensations. The tingling can be likened to the prickling feeling experienced when the food falls asleep. The only difference is the prickling sensation caused by radiculopathy is persistent.
  • Muscle weakness. Weakness of the muscle can be experienced when a nerve that controls a muscle gets irritated. Severe cases of the condition might require radiculopathy surgery.

Radiculopathy Diagnosis

While most people can fully recover from the condition even without sciatic nerve pain surgery or even pinched nerve treatment, the condition has the potential to cause permanent nerve damage.

Lumbar Radiculopathy Diagnosis

Radiculopathy Treatment

Typically, when radiculopathy is diagnosed, nonsurgical and conservative treatment options are often considered. Fortunately, at least 90 percent of patients with radiculopathy respond well to conventional radiculopathy treatments.

Nonsurgical radiculopathy treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medication
  • Injections
  • Self-care (i.e., application of ice or heat and exercise)
Lumbar Radiculopathy Treatment

Surgical Treatment Options for Radiculopathy

If no improvement is noticed after six weeks of treatment, surgery for radiculopathy may be recommended. If the patient experiences progressive muscle weakness and severe leg pain, radiculopathy surgery may be considered sooner.

Prevalent surgical options that can relieve radiculopathy include:

Disk Degeneration

Laminectomy

The primary goal of this surgical option is to relieve the spinal nerves pressure that’s causing the symptoms.

How Laminectomy Works

  • The spine surgeon will create an incision near the center of the spine.
  • Any damaged disc material and bone spurs are removed.
  • The incision is closed using sutures.
  • A few weeks after the surgical procedure, the ligaments and muscles of the back will fill the space where the lamina once was.
Microdiscectomy

Microdiscectomy

Microdiscectomy is the most common surgery performed for herniated discs. A one to two-inch incision is created in the spine where the herniation is located. Once the herniation is located, the herniated piece is removed. This type of surgery will last an hour or two.

Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is one of the rarest treatment options for radiculopathy. It is only resorted to when the spinal segments become unstable or when they collapse. During the procedure, a vertebral bone is fused or attached to an adjacent vertebral bone.

While the fusion will minimize freedom of movement in the spine, immobility can also stop the spinal instability that is causing pain.

How Spine Fusion Works

  • The spine surgeon creates an incision near the spine’s center.
  • Any damaged disc material or bone spurs are removed.
  • During the procedure, a bone graft will be added to the spine segment.
  • The bones will be held together using screws.
  • The body will grow new bony tissue over the bone graft.
  • As soon as the fused bones heal, it can effectively prevent movement at the joint.

MicroTubeTM Spine Surgery Treatment Option

Radiculopathy is classified as a form of sciatica. It can develop due to pathologies such as foraminal or lateral stenosis, synovial cyst, and disc herniation. Common symptoms of radiculopathy include tingling and numbness, weakness of a group of muscles, and pain in the lower extremity. MicroTubeTM Spine Surgery uses a minimalistic approach to the nerve impingement site and directly addresses its cause. Learn more about the benefits of MicroTubeTM Spine Surgery by clicking here.

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ROYAL SPINE SURGERY

Dr. Abdulhamid’s technical skills, professionalism and skill in communicating with the patient are of the highest order. After Randy’s surgery, Dr. A came out from surgery and spent time explaining the surgery to me (Randy’s wife). A very much appreciated the amount of quality time he spent with me even though I knew had other surgeries to attend.

Roberta

This has been fantastic! Dr. A explained everything to me and really took his time to make sure I understood the surgery. A+!

Curtis

Your office and staff were amazing. Dr. A and his assistant are also amazing. I feel very fortunate to have had a very good doctor as well as assistant. Thank you Dr. A very much. I felt so comfortable as Im deathly afraid of being put to sleep and Dr. A and his assistant were very understanding and compassionate.

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Excellent experience with Dr. A! Explained everything thoroughly, followed up after surgery to check on me. Did an excellent job on my back.

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