Radiculopathy Treatment in Princeton & Staten Island
What is radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy is defined as any disease of the spinal nerves and spinal nerve roots characterized by pain that seems to radiate from the spine. Symptoms depend upon the spinal nerves and spinal nerve roots affected. If you feel pain radiating from your spine, contact the doctors at New Jersey Spine Surgeons for a consultation. Our orthopedic spine offices in Princeton, NJ and Staten Island, NY can relieve your pain and restore your spinal health. Learn more about the different types of radiculopathy and our treatment options below.
What are the different types of radiculopathy?
There are several different types of radiculopathy, depending on the region of the spine that is affected.
Cervical radiculopathy is an irritation or compression of the nerve roots in the cervical spine (neck), affecting the nerves that extend through the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. Symptoms may include tingling, numbness, weakness or pain that radiates from the neck, through the shoulders and down to the arms, hands, and fingers.
Thoracic radiculopathy is a relatively uncommon type of irritation or compression of the nerve roots occurring in the thoracic spine (chest) region. Radiculopathy symptoms in the thoracic region can appear in the chest or abdominal area, along with appearing in localized areas of the mid-back or upper back.
Lumbar radiculopathy is an irritation or compression of the nerve roots in the lumbar spine (lower back), affecting the nerves that travel through the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet. Lumbar radiculopathy symptoms vary based on what section of the lumbar spine is affected by nerve compression or irritation.
Sciatica is a specific type of lumbar radiculopathy, affecting the sciatic nerve and causing radiating pain in various locations along the sciatic nerve, including the lower back, hips, buttocks, and down the back of the legs. Sciatica will typically manifest on just one side of the body.
What causes radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy may result from a number of possible causes and spinal conditions, including:
- Arthritis of the spine
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Foraminal stenosis
- Compression fracture
- Herniated disc
- Bulging disc
- Spondylolisthesis (slipped disc)
- Bone spur
- Spine injury
- Repeated twisting or rotating of the spine
How is radiculopathy diagnosed?
If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be indicative of radiculopathy, proper evaluation from an experienced spine specialist is important for getting a diagnosis. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, our doctors will evaluate your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis following a physical examination, medical history, and any necessary diagnostic testing. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following diagnostic tests to help pinpoint the underlying spinal condition that is causing your symptoms:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computerized tomography (CT scan)
These tests can be used to create images that help determine whether you have a spinal condition that is causing nerve compression and/or irregular nerve impulses.
What does radiculopathy treatment involve?
Radiculopathy relief is possible at New Jersey Spine Surgeons. Our goal is to restore your back functionality with the least invasive approach. In many cases, conservative treatment may prove effective at providing relief. Treatment options depend on each patient’s needs and symptoms, and may involve:
- Avoiding painful positions and activities that cause pain
- Lifestyle modifications (e.g. quitting smoking, losing weight)
- Taking pain medications, either over-the-counter or prescription medications depending on the level of pain
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Undergoing therapeutic massage
- Getting a cortisone injection
If symptoms are severe, worsen over time, or don’t respond well to conservative therapies, radiculopathy surgery may be recommended.
Some of the radiculopathy surgery options that may be recommended include:
Cervical Radiculopathy Surgery Options
- Minimally invasive laminoforaminotomy
- Cervical disc replacement
- Cervical fusion
- Posterior spinal fusion
- Laminotomy and decompression
Lumbar Radiculopathy Surgery Options
- Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
- Minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
- Oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF)
- Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)
- Axial fusion
- Endoscopic foraminotomy, discectomy, and decompression
If you believe you may be suffering from radiculopathy, the first step is scheduling an evaluation with an experienced spine specialist. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, we are dedicated to the preservation of motion and function through the latest minimally invasive spine procedures and treatments. Call (844)-7-NJSPINE today or fill out the form on this page to request a consultation at our Princeton and Staten Island offices.