Lumbar Radiculopathy (Nerve Root Compression)
Lumbar Radiculopathy Causes
Lumbar Radiculopathy Diagnoses
Your spine doctor will consider your medical history and symptoms and give you a physical examination, during which the doctor will look for limitations of movement in the spine, problems with balance, as well as any loss of extremity reflexes, muscle weakness, sensory loss, or abnormal reflexes that may suggest spinal cord involvement.
Plain X-ray and an MRI are the typical imaging tests used to evaluate lumbar radiculopathy. However, a CT myelogram may be used when an MRI is contraindicated due to a pacemaker or spinal cord stimulator, etc.
Lumbar Radiculopathy Symptoms
Non-Surgical Treatment of Lumbar Radiculopathy
Interventional treatments for lumbar radiculopathy may include:
- Physical therapy and/or exercises that are designed to stabilize the spine and promote a more open space for spinal nerve roots are recommended.
- Medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain and analgesics to relieve pain.
- Epidural steroid injections and nerve root injections to help reduce swelling and treat acute pain that radiates to the hips or down the leg
Surgical Treatment of Lumbar Radiculopathy
Surgical treatment can be varied depending on what causes the lumbar radiculopathy. Typically, these treatments involve some way of either decompressing the nerve or stabilizing the spine.
Some of the surgical procedures used to treat lumbar radiculopathy at Emory are: