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Radiculopathy is a painful condition that can affect your quality of life if left untreated. It is important to seek consultation from a qualified provider as soon as possible. Our team at Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida specializes in the treatment of radiculopathy.
What Is Radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy is caused by a pinched or compressed nerve. There are three types of radiculopathy, named for the region where the nerve is being pinched; cervical, thoracic, and lumbar radiculopathy.
Cervical radiculopathy is caused by a pinched nerve in the neck. Thoracic radiculopathy is caused by a pinched nevre within the upper back. Lumbar radiculopathy, often referred to as sciatica, is caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back.
The two most common causes of cervical radiculopathy are cervical spinal stenosis and a herniated disc in the cervical spine. Common causes of lumbar radiculopathy or sciatica include herniated discs, lumbar spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis.
Radiculopathy can occur in patients of any age but is more common in adults. As we age our spinal column is subjected to wear and tear. This process results in the development of bone spurs, osteophytes, disc bulges and disc herniations which cause nerve compression. Minor trauma can cause sudden disc herniations which may also result in developing symptoms of radiculopathy.
What Are the Symptoms of Radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy symptoms can vary slightly depending on the location of the pinched nerve. When radiculopathy occurs in the cervical region symptoms can include the following and more:
Tingling or numbness throughout the arms
Weakness in the arms or hands
Lumbar radiculopathy can present many of the same symptoms as cervical radiculopathy, plus a few unique symptoms of its own. The signs and symptoms of sciatica can include the following:
Lower back pain
Shooting thigh and leg pain
Tingling or numbness in the legs
Thoracic radiculopathy is less common but can result in a band of pain radiating from the back around the side of the chest wall. The symptoms of radiculopathy can vary in intensity from patient to patient. Some individuals may have very mild symptoms that come and go, while others have debilitating, constant symptoms. The experts at Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida can help alleviate your discomfort caused by a pinched or compressed nerve.
How Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida Can Help
At Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida, we use thorough examinations and innovative diagnostic tools to confirm you are struggling with radiculopathy and find the exact location of the pinched nerve. We can then match you with the right team of experts and treatment plan that is right for you.
During your consultation, we will perform a comprehensive physical examination. Your medical history will be reviewed, and you will be asked to provide us with the following information:
What symptoms you are experiencing
When your symptoms started
Any injuries or conditions that may be related
What you are doing to manage your pain or discomfort
After performing your exam and discussing the relevant information, we will proceed with diagnostics to confirm your pinched nerve and determine its location. Diagnostics may consist of MRI imaging, X-ray imaging, or nerve conduction studies.
Magnetic resonance imaging is used to provide the most detailed view of the spinal column, allowing us to visualize the exact placement of the vertebral bodies that make up your spine. This diagnostic tool can help determine the precise location of the compressed nerve.
In-House Digital X-Rays
Digital X-rays can be performed on-site to quickly see if there are issues like spinal stenosis or herniated discs. Our team is proficient in obtaining and interpreting X-rays, making this a speedy diagnostic tool for confirming radiculopathy.
EMG Nerve Conduction Studies
Another diagnostic test that may be used in your radiculopathy diagnosis is an EMG nerve conduction study. This test examines nerve function and looks for sources of tingling, pain, or numbness.
Advanced Non-Invasive Spinal Surgery
Once the location of your pinched nerve has been pinpointed, we can begin your course of treatment. Treatment can look different for every patient, depending on the exact location and cause of their radiculopathy.
For patients with more mild symptoms, radiculopathy may be managed with medication and physical therapy to relieve discomfort. Injections can also be performed to directly target the pinched nerve and relieve pain.
In certain circumstances surgery may be required. Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida provides non-invasive surgical options that can resolve your radiculopathy without extensive surgery. These include microdiscectomy, laminoforaminotomy and microdecompression techniques. Surgery is performed minimally invasively through a microscope and minimizes soft tissue disruption for a quick and easy recovery.
Radiculopathy Treatment at Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida
Are you struggling with pain, numbness, or tingling in the arms or legs? These can be signs of sciatica/radiculopathy from a pinched nerve. The team at Orthopedic Specialists of SW Florida is a leader in the treatment of radiculopathy in the Fort Myers area.
We can diagnose your pinched nerve and effectively relieve your symptoms with the use of nonsurgical and minimally invasive procedures. Contact us by calling (239) 334-7000 or online by filling out this short contact form.
Individual Treatment Plans
We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ approach; each patient gets a unique treatment plan designed for their needs.