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Radiculopathy is a general description used to characterize pain, numbness and weakness in the arms, legs and hands, generally caused by a problem in the nerve roots.

WakeMed’s comprehensive approach allows us to help patients return to their prior level of function and regain an active, pain-free lifestyle. Our expertise allows us to pinpoint and treat the source of radiculopathy and offer the most innovative nonsurgical and surgical treatments.

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Symptoms of Radiculopathy

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty controlling certain muscles

Causes of Radiculopathy

Patients with radiculopathy often have a herniated disc or degeneration in the spine that is irritating or causing swelling in the nerve roots.

Nerves affected by radiculopathy can be inflamed, pinched or working poorly due to low blood flow. Pinched nerves can be caused by excessive pressure in several areas, including the areas surrounding bones, muscle, tendons and cartilage.

Diagnosing Radiculopathy

Our doctors take a detailed history of symptoms and conduct a thorough physical examination to check for typical radiculopathy symptoms.

We may also order imaging tests, including an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treating Radiculopathy

Treating radiculopathy depends on its cause, and we tailor treatment to each individual patient to restore normal nerve function.

We try conservative approaches — such as physical therapy, relaxation and medication —first. Some research also supports the use of chiropractic methods of spinal manipulation.

For patients whose symptoms continue, we offer minimally invasive surgical solutions to treat radiculopathy, including anterior cervical discectomy, in which the surgeon removes the discs or spurs that are pressing on the spinal cord to relieve the pain and pressure on the nerve roots.

Make an Appointment

We welcome new patients. If you’d like to meet with one of WakeMed’s orthopaedists about radiculopathy, please make an appointment by calling us at 919-232-5020.

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