- A radiculopathy is sensory or motor dysfunction resulting from pathology involving a spinal nerve root.
- Symptoms include weakness, burning, tingling, and ‘shooting’ pain in a nerve root distribution.
- Disc herniation (most common cause of lumbar radiculopathy)
— lateral herniations tend to compress nerve roots as they exit the neural foramina
— central herniations may compress multiple nerve roots/cauda equina
- Chronic degenerative arthritis and spinal stenosis (most common cause of cervical radiculopathy)
- Trauma (often multiple levels, due to nerve root stretch)
- Epidural abscess (back pain, fever, risk factors)
- Epidural metastases (e.g lung, breast, prostate, kidney, and myeloproliferative malignancies)
- Herpes zoster (shingles)
- Lyme disease (polyradiculitis occurs weeks after tick bite and initial rash (erythema chronicum migran
References and Links
- Bhidayasiri R, Waters MF, Giza CC. Neurological differential diagnosis: a prioritized approach, Blackwell Publishing 2005.