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Radiculopathy

Cervical Radiculopathy Treatment in Cincinnati

Cervical radiculopathy, which most people refer to as a “pinched nerve,” is a result of compression or irritation of a nerve in the neck. This may be a result of normal wear and tear, a sudden injury like a herniated disc, arthritis, or changes in the spine that are part of the aging process. For patients with cervical radiculopathy, our doctors first recommend effective, non-invasive treatment. When conservative treatment doesn’t provide relief, we are able to perform surgery to alleviate spinal cord compression and/or arm weakness.

What Causes Cervical Radiculopathy?

The seven vertebrae that form the neck are called the cervical spine. The spinal cord is held within these vertebrae, and cervical nerve roots branch off from the spinal cord to supply the muscles that allow our hands, arms, fingers, and shoulders to function.

In most cases, cervical radiculopathy results when a nerve root is inflamed or damaged. This is usually caused by a bone spur, an injury, or a herniated disc, and it may also be a result of bulging discs in the cervical spine. Very rarely, cervical radiculopathy is caused by a tumor or infection.

Woman with Back Pain

Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve

For most people, cervical radiculopathy presents in the form of pain that starts in the neck and extends down the arm on one side. Moving, turning, or extending the neck may increase this pain, which can be sharp or feel like a burning sensation. Some patients with a pinched nerve also may experience:

  • “Pins and needles” or tingling in the hand or fingers on one side
  • Muscle weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Loss of sensation

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Non-Surgical Treatment for Radiculopathy

Pain from cervical radiculopathy usually resolves itself over the course of a few days or weeks, though it may return in the future. In cases where cervical radiculopathy does not resolve itself quickly, our doctors may recommend:

  • Using a cervical collar to limit mobility
  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Steroid injections
  • Narcotic pain medication

Surgical Treatment for Radiculopathy

For patients who do not achieve adequate relief from cervical radiculopathy from non-surgical treatment, our orthopaedic surgeons may recommend surgery, such as:

  • Anterior Cervical Diskectomy and Fusion (ACDF)
  • Artificial Disk Replacement (ADR)
  • Posterior Cervical Laminoforaminotomy1

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Contact Beacon Orthopaedics

At Beacon Orthopaedics, our experienced orthopaedic surgeons can help patients who suffer from a pinched nerve or cervical radiculopathy achieve relief. If you are suffering from neck pain that is not resolving on its own, please contact us to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.

1American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Cervical Radiculopathy: Surgical Treatment Options. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/cervical-radiculopathy-surgical-treatment-options/. Accessed June 8, 2021.