What Is Lumbar Radiculopathy?
Lumbar radiculopathy is a term that denotes a set of symptoms associated with a nerve disorder originating from a spinal nerve root within the lumbar vertebral region. The lumbar region is at the lower part of the vertebra and it has five levels: L1-L5. The symptoms observed could be a result of an anomaly at the nerve root on any of these levels.
The Causes of Lumbar Radiculopathy:
This condition has been mostly attributed to the compression of nerve roots in the lumbar region. This compression might be due to herniation of the intervertebral discs. These discs provide cushioning effects between each vertebra. When there is swelling on one or more of these, the swelling can impinge on the nearest nerve root and produce symptoms associated with radiculopathy.
When you frequently lift weights beyond your capacity, you increase your chances of having compressed spinal nerves. Radiculopathy can also be caused by a major impact on the back, probably during an accident.
In addition, as people age, the opening through which the spinal nerves branch out could reduce in diameter. This could also produce radiculopathy symptoms. Other causes of lumbar radiculopathy include infections, tumors, and some vascular disorders.
The Symptoms Of Lumbar Radiculopathy:
Spinal nerves branch out of the spaces between vertebrae. When these nerves are subjected to pressure from a herniated disc or fragments of a fracture, the patient can experience a range of symptoms.
These symptoms include:
- Persistent lower back pain
- Radiating pain to the hips, buttocks, thighs, calves, and feet
- Paresthesia (pins and needles)
- Numbness and loss of reflexes
- Muscle fatigue and problems with walking.
How Is Lumbar Radiculopathy Diagnosed?
Our physicians use a combination of your medical history and physical examinations to determine whether you have lumbar radiculopathy or not. Sometimes, this is sufficient, however, some other times we must turn to more advanced diagnostic techniques like MRI and CT (for those who cannot do an MRI). It is our tradition to sit with our patients and explain the results of their tests to them. This allows you to understand our treatment propositions and what you stand to gain.
How Is Lumbar Radiculopathy Treated?
While some cases resolve on their own with rest, others require some kind of treatment. We employ conservative treatment options such as medications and exercise initially, for the first 4 to 6 weeks. Medications used include OTC oral analgesics, NSAIDs, and steroids. They provide pain relief and resolve inflammation. Some of these are administered through epidural, transforaminal, and facet injections. Many patients experience huge relief from these. If this does not resolve your symptoms, we might begin to consider surgical options.
Some of the surgical procedures we recommend for patients with radiculopathy include discectomies, microdiscectomies, or laminectomies. These are decompressive procedures that release pressure on the nerve roots by removing injured regions of the spinal discs.
We only book patients for surgical treatment after we have established that the chosen procedure offers them the best results. Our team of professionals carries out these procedures through small incisions and under fluoroscopy to minimize or eradicate errors. Surgical procedures for lumbar radiculopathy provide relief for up to 90% of patients.
Speak With Our Qualified Professionals
The Advanced Medical Treatment Centre provides top-quality emergency care for trauma and accident cases. We have a team committed to improving the health and wellness of our patients through excellent diagnosis and management. We offer a range of services that provide relief from lumbar radiculopathy. To speak to one of our qualified professionals about one of these, book a consultation today!