What You Need to Know About Radiculopathy

People are injured in car crashes every day in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Some of the most common types of injuries from auto accidents involve the neck and back. Occasionally, injuries to the spine are severe enough to cause symptoms of radiculopathy.

What is Radiculopathy?

Radiculopathy is a term used to describe a set of symptoms which includes pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms and legs. Radiculopathy can be an indication that certain nerves are not working correctly. Often, radiculopathy in the arms or legs points to nerve damage in the spinal cord, which houses the nerves that go throughout the rest of our body. The spine is made up of vertebrae which surround and protect the spinal nerves. The opening which houses the spinal nerves is called the vertebral foramen.

Types of Radiculopathy

There are three main types of radiculopathy:

  1. Lumbar Radiculopathy occurs when there is excess pressure on the nerve root on the lower section of the back,
  2. Cervical Radiculopathy occurs when there is pressure on the nerve root on the neck, and
  3. Thoracic Radiculopathy occurs when there are nerves that have been pinched in the middle section of the spine.

Causes of Radiculopathy

One cause of radiculopathy is pinched or inflamed nerves, caused by herniated discs applying pressure to the nerves. The spinal vertebrae are separated by soft, spongy discs, which when damaged, can bulge or break open into the vertebral foramen and push against the sensitive spinal cord. Radiculopathy can be an indication of this type of damage. Since nerves in different parts of the spine correspond to different parts of the body, the location of the radiculopathy can indicate the location of the nerve damage in the spine. For instance, the nerves in the arms and hands are affected by the discs in the neck, or cervical spine, and the nerves in the legs and feet are affected by the discs in the lower back, or lumbar spine. 

Get Medical Assistance

If a patient is reporting numbness and tingling in the hands or arms, a physician will look to the cervical area of the spine for injury. If a car accident victim is experiencing radiculopathy for an extended period of time along with back or neck pain, many doctors will request an MRI performed to survey the damage to the spine.  MRI’s, unlike X-rays or CT scans, show very detailed images of the body, and are sensitive enough to detect disc bulges that might be impinging upon the spinal cord.

If you are suffering from radiculopathy and other symptoms of neck and back injury as the result of being injured due to another person’s negligence, you have the right to be compensated for your medical treatment and pain and suffering.  The Anderson Law Firm provides FREE initial consultations, so call now to discuss your potential claim. 

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas