What are the Causes of Cervical Radiculopathy?
The most common forms of treatment for cervical radiculopathy include:
A nerve block is also similar to a steroid injection, in that it involves the insertion of a needle into regions where affected nerve roots are located to administer medication. However, in addition to injecting a steroid and anesthetic, an agent that disintegrates nerve tissue in the affected area may be administered to alleviate pain. This is a more long-term form of treatment. Risks involved with a nerve block include possible injury to arteries, veins, or nerve roots during needle insertion, but using imaging techniques such as fluoroscopy, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) during needle placement greatly reduces this risk.
Laser Disc Surgery (Performed for a Herniated Disc): Additional medical advances over the years have led to the use of lasers to perform surgery on patients who have herniated discs that are causing low back and leg pain. During laser surgery, a needle is inserted into the affected disc and several bursts of laser-generated heat are induced to vaporize the tissue in the disc. This procedure reduces the size of the disc, thereby relieving pressure on the nerves. Many patients who undergo laser surgery can return to their normal activities within three to five days after the laser surgery, but significant pain relief may not become apparent until several weeks or even months following the surgery.
Patients who do not find conservative therapies effective may discover radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to provide significant relief. Radiofrequency ablation is the removal of the posterior nerve roots that are delivering the pain to the facet joints, which results in pain relief. Since the peripheral nerves are unable to regenerate, radiofrequency ablation is not a permanent treatment solution.
Laminectomy (Commonly Performed for Spinal Stenosis): A laminectomy, also called a decompression laminectomy, is one of the most common surgical procedures that is performed to treat spinal stenosis. Similar to a foraminotomy, a laminectomy involves relieving pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves that may have been caused by age-related changes, trauma, or an infection. A laminectomy is different from a foraminotomy in that a large incision is made in order to remove the back portions of vertebrae (lamina) that cover the spinal cord, in addition to ligaments and bone spurs, which are extra bone fragments that form when the spine tries to repair itself. A laminectomy widens the spinal canal, thereby relieving pressure on nerves and is typically performed in conjunction with a spinal fusion. If both procedures need to be performed, a short hospital stay will be required, and physicians normally recommend physical therapy afterward to help the individual regain mobility and strength. Surgery for spinal stenoses, such as a laminectomy or foraminotomy, typically provides significant pain relief, and patients typically report a dramatic improvement within three months of the surgery. In addition, the pain relief usually lasts for up to four years, and in some cases, between eight to ten years.
Cervical radiculopathy is nerve root damage that is the result of inflamed and compressed cervical nerves in the neck region. This condition can cause pain in the arms, chest, shoulders, and upper back as well as motor problems, muscle weakness, a loss of sensation, and numbness or tingling in these regions. Typical causes of cervical radiculopathy include cervical disc herniation, spinal disc degeneration (e.g., spondylarthrosis), arthritis, nerve injuries, ruptured discs, tumors, spinal infections, and even smoking.
Initial treatment usually involves anti-inflammatory medicine or injections, non-steroidal pain medicine, and physical therapy. Chronic symptoms and pain that does not decrease in response to initial treatment may be subsequently treated through the short-term use of opioids and procedures such as a cervical or epidural steroid injection or a nerve block. Steroid injections and nerve blocks are brief procedures that quickly reduce pain, can be repeated if necessary, and generally produce long-term results.
If you or someone close to you suffers from neck pain or low back pain that negatively interferes with the physical emotional, socio-labor and family sphere, consult us in our pain clinic to offer you the most advanced medical treatments such as image-guided injection technology for the relief and pain management of your neck pain or low back pain; that you can recover the optimal physical and functional abilities quickly, allowing you reintegrate with all enjoyable experiences and your socio-occupational life.
Dr. Roque has a vast and extensive experience in the mentioned field; In addition, the Center for Pain Management, located at 543 45th St. Union City NJ - Telephone 201-766-6469 - is fully equipped with innovative cutting-edge equipment and technology required to practice this type of procedures safely and effectively
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