You don’t have to suffer in silence with lower back pain, even if it seems to be just a mild annoyance. It’s the kind of nagging back pain that actually may be a sign that you’re about to experience much more painful symptoms. When the pain shoots down into your legs or your muscles feel weaker than usual, you may have a condition called lumbar radiculopathy. Fortunately, you’ve found the best spinal surgeon on the East Coast in Dr. Branko Skovrlj, the founder of NU-Spine in Edison, New Jersey. Back pain doesn’t have to limit you; call this spine doctor to prevent your minor back issues from getting worse.
What Is Lumbar Radiculopathy?
Lumbar radiculopathy is sometimes called nerve root compression. Lumbar refers to the bottom of your spine, and radiculopathy means the damage or pinching of a nerve that can cause back pain and other symptoms. It’s estimated this lower back nerve pain affects about three to five percent of the population.
Sometimes, symptoms of a lower back disorder resolve themselves over time. More often, however, the symptoms progress until you end up needing lumbar radiculopathy treatment. The best defense against lumbar radiculopathy lower back pain is to contact an exceptional neurosurgeon who can help you. And Dr. Branko Skovrl, at NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in Edison, NJ is the best spinal specialist in the whole region.
How Do I Get Lumbar Radiculopathy?
Many factors contribute to or cause the lower back nerve pinching called lumbar radiculopathy. While it’s often caused by one serious injury, it’s much more likely to be caused by lifestyle habits and repetitive motion. Primary causes include:
- Genetic factors
- Degenerative disease
- Herniated disc
- Bone spurs
- Disc lesions
- Repetitive motions
- Long-term stress
- Spinal stenosis
Most of the time, it’s a combination of factors — such as a lumbar weakness combined with a job that repeatedly puts stress on your lower back. Healthy steps you can take to prevent many serious back pain problems include:
- Keeping a healthy weight with diet and exercise
- Practicing proper posture and lifting techniques
- Making preventative visits to your spine surgeon and contacting him at the first signs of persistent discomfort
What Are the Symptoms of Lumbar Radiculopathy?
Since lumbar radiculopathy is directly related to your nerves, you can expect significant pain when those lower back nerves become impinged. You may have developed lumbar radiculopathy if you experience such symptoms as:
- Tingling in your legs
- Lower body muscle weakness
- Pain shooting down your legs
- Back pain
- Reflex loss
- Muscle spasms
Imaging and reflex tests, coupled with a detailed history of your symptoms, help your spine doctor reach a definitive diagnosis. Additionally, it’s important for your doctor to rule out other conditions that could cause nerve pain, such as:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Fungal infections
- Vascular conditions
What If Nothing Works for Lumbar Radiculopathy?
Your internist or chiropractor may recommend rest, physical therapy or even holistic cures for lumbar radiculopathy. But when you continue to experience pain, you need a master spine surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, as well as surgery for the most complicated spinal conditions.
The most common radiculopathy lumbar region treatments include:
- Lumbar discectomy In this procedure, part or all of a lumbar disc is removed if it’s bulging or contributing to your lumbar radiculopathy. This can be done with local anesthesia, and since it’s an outpatient procedure, you can go home the day of the procedure. You need only minimal rest in your recovery.
- Lumbar microdiscectomy This is a similar procedure as a regular discectomy, but it’s done on an even smaller scale. Your surgeon makes a very small incision, inserting precise tools — including a laser, when appropriate —through a tube into the incision so the surgery causes zero collateral damage or pain.
- Minimally invasive laminectomy A laminectomy differs from a discectomy. It involves removing a part of a vertebral bone called a lamina. It’s a procedure your neurosurgeon has extensive experience performing, so you can trust him.
What Other Lumbar Radiculopathy Surgeries Are There?
Your doctor turns to other procedures ot remove pressure on the nerves in your lower back when he believes they will lead to the best outcome. These other treatments include:
Your New Jersey spine surgeon prefers to provide you with the quickest and safest solution — and that usually requires minimally invasive procedures. When you need a more complex treatment, Dr. Skovrlj is ideally suited to provide the best lumbar radiculopathy surgery with the fewest complications. A neurosurgeon, he’s devoted his career to helping people out of back pain.
Contact NU-Spine in Edison, NJ at the earliest sign of lower back pain to get an accurate diagnosis and prevent future complications. This spine specialist evaluates your symptoms and provides a treatment option that’s best suited to your unique condition. You can rely on the steady, experienced hands of your spine doctor at NU-Spine.Page Updated on Jul 9, 2021 by Dr. Branko Skovrlj (Neurosurgeon / Spine surgeon) of NU-Spine: The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Institute in New Jersey