Radiculopathy

Jonathan Gottlieb, MD -  - Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Minimally Invasive Spine Center of South Florida

Jonathan Gottlieb, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgeon located in Miami-Dade County, Miami, FL

Radiculopathy occurs when one of the nerves in the spinal column is compressed or irritated. This leads to uncomfortable symptoms in the patient’s arms and/or legs, depending on the location of the affected nerve. Dr. Jon Gottlieb can diagnose radiculopathy accurately and offer treatment options to improve the patient’s symptoms. If you have the symptoms of radiculopathy, please contact his practice in South Miami, Florida, to make an appointment.

Radiculopathy Q & A

What is radiculopathy?

When one of the nerves at any location in the spinal column is irritated or under pressure, you’ll experience the symptoms of radiculopathy. This condition is most common in the lower back, but it can occur in the middle back, upper back, and neck as well.

What symptoms does it cause?

Radiculopathy causes different symptoms based on the location of the irritated or compressed nerve. If the affected nerve is located in the lower back, you may experience pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in your lower back and down one or both legs.

If the affected nerve is located in the neck, you may notice pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in your arms.

If the affected nerve is located in the upper or middle back, you may experience pain or numbness that wraps from your back to the front of your body.

Why does radiculopathy occur?

In most cases, radiculopathy occurs because the tissues surrounding the affected nerve roots are damaged or changed. When these tissues move or become larger, they can press on the nerve roots and cause symptoms. Some issues that may contribute to radiculopathy include:

  • Disc degeneration

  • Spinal stenosis

  • Herniated discs

  • Bone spurs

  • Thickening of spinal ligaments

  • Cancer

  • Spinal infections

How is it diagnosed?

Before recommending treatment for radiculopathy, Dr. Gottlieb will take steps to find the cause. This may involve a physical exam, imaging tests, and a review of your medical history. The goal of this process is to rule out other conditions and/or find evidence of a compressed nerve root.

How is it treated?

The treatment for radiculopathy depends on the cause. For example, if you have a spinal infection or cancer, specific treatments to address the underlying problem are necessary. However, if your symptoms are caused by herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, or other structural problems, you may benefit from:

  • Oral medication to reduce pain and inflammation

  • Physical therapy

  • Injected medications to bring down swelling and reduce pain sensations

  • Surgery to address the cause of your symptoms

Dr. Gottlieb will explain all of your options to you so you can make the right choice.

For further information on your condition, please refer to this link:  www.aaos.org