Radiculopathy is a term used to describe dysfunction of a nerve root. Signs and symptoms may include: Pain in the distribution of the nerve root, dermatomal sensory disturbances, weakness of muscles innervated by the nerve root, and hypoactive reflexes of the same muscles. Sometimes the terms “radiculopathy” and “pinched nerve” are used interchangeably. However in some cases, dysfunction of a nerve root may occur without it being pinched. This may occur when a nerve root becomes inflamed for reasons such as infection, trauma, neoplasm, diabetes, arthritis, or other. In these cases the more specific term term “radiculitis” may be used to describe the condition.
A common cause of radiculopathy or pinched nerve is disc herniation. A disc herniation occurs when displaced disc material from its inner core produces pressure on a nerve root that innervates the arm or leg. Commonly this either occurs in the neck or lower lumbar spine. Other causes of pinched nerves include bone spurs, disc bulges, spondylolisthesis (spinal instability), spinal fracture, or spinal tumor.
Treatment for Radiculopathy
Most often, nonsurgical treatment will remedy the problem. Treatment can include wearing soft collars to relieve pressure when it occurs in the neck, physical therapy, and medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, corticosteroids and steroid injections.
Surgery is performed when conservative nonsurgical therapies fail to relieve symptoms. Surgery may also be recommended when weakness is noted or when the patient experiences intractable pain and becomes incapacitated. If the patient experiences weakness and/or sensory loss, surgery is recommended in an effort to prevent permanent neurologic deficit. Surgical intervention also tends to result in a more expedient and definitive recovery. Your healthcare provider can help you determine which treatment is recommended for your condition.
At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for radiculopathy and many other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for radiculopathy. Dr. Lipani offers image guided spine surgery approaches for radiculopathy treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient. For state-of-the-art radiculopathy treatment, call or email us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Hamilton, New Jersey or Bridgewater, New Jersey!