Dr. Kamal Thapar, MD., PhD., FRCSC., FAANS
1200 Oakleaf Way, Suite A, Altoona, WI 54720
Lumbar radiculopathy is a condition that results in back and leg pain due to a pinched nerve in the low back. The pain often radiates down the leg in a specific distribution, which correlates with the nerve that is being compressed in the low back.
– Degenerative disc disease
– Arthritis in the spine
– Bone spurs (overgrowth of bone)
– Back pain
– Leg pain
– Hip pain
– Numbness and tingling in the lower extremities
In order to confirm the diagnosis of lumbar radiculopathy, an MRI of the lumbar spine is required. This imaging study will identify the location and specific nerve root that is being compressed. Additionally, an electromyogram may be ordered to determine if the nerve is being compressed further down in the leg as well or if the damage to the nerves are the result of a medical condition such as diabetes.
There are various treatment options for lumbar radiculopathy and the course of management depends on the cause of the problem. Conservative treatment options include physical therapy, spinal injections, chiropractic care, and/or medications. The need for surgical intervention is based upon the patient’s symptoms, response to non-operative management, and the cause of the problem. Many times, a simple minimally invasive procedure can be performed to alleviate the pressure on the nerves. This procedure is called a decompression or laminectomy.