Cervical radiculopathy


Neurological dysfunction of spinal nerve, nerve roots or both.

Patients usually present with neck pain, one arm pain, sensory or motor loss, and reflex changes in the affected nerve root distribution.

Annual incidence of approximately 107 per 100,000 for men and 63 per 100,000 for women, with a peak age at 50-54 years.

Only 15% of patients have a history of preceding trauma or physical exertion prior to the onset of symptoms.

A Rochester Minnesota study revealed: 26% of patients had surgery within 3 months of diagnosis while the remainder were treated medically, 32% of patients experienced symptoms during a median follow-up of 4.9 months and long term 90% had normal findings or were minimally incapacitated.

70-75% caused by encroachment of spinal nerves due to decreased disc height and degenerative changes of uncovertebral joints anteriorly and posteriorly at the zygapophyseal joints.

Herniated nucleus pulposus responsible for 20-25% of cases.

Rare causes include infections or malignancies.

The mechanism for radicular pain is not well understood as nerve root compression does not always lead to pain, unless the ganglion of the dorsal root is also compressed.

Inflammatory mediators may be released by herniated cervical intervertebral disks suggesting that the use of anti-inflammatory agents may improve symptoms.

Patients usually present with severe neck and arm pain.

Patients may experience burning or tingling in a dermatome pattern, it is ref2242ed to associated a myotomal pattern.

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