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Conditions We Treat: Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve at the Root)

Radiculopathy refers to the unpleasant “pinched nerve” symptoms that develop when a nerve becomes trapped at its root. Advanced radiculopathy can greatly affect your quality of life and even result in permanent nerve damage.

Radiculopathy Treatment: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

  • There are surgical and nonsurgical treatments available for radiculopathy.
  • Our doctors explore nonsurgical treatments first. If a surgery is necessary, they will check whether a minimally invasive approach may work for you.
  • Our physicians treat patients with all types of radiculopathy, including cervical radiculopathy (in the neck), lumbar radiculopathy (in the lower back) and thoracic radiculopathy (in the upper to mid back) in both chronic and acute forms.
  • Our spine specialists are trained and equipped to handle the most complex radiculopathy cases.
  • Treatment is important, but so is recovery. We can help you get back to your favorite activities after spine surgery with a custom rehabilitation plan.

Radiculopathy Treatment Options

Certain types of radiculopathy can sometimes be managed with nonsurgical treatments. These treatments may include:

  • Physical therapy to strengthen the back muscles and the core to better support the spine
  • Medication, such as pain relievers, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory drugs, to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Steroid injections or oral steroids to relieve swelling and inflammation around the nerve root
  • Activity modification to prevent worsening of the pain

Surgical treatments for radiculopathy are focused on physically removing the tissue that is constricting the nerve root. This may include removal of all or parts of a herniated disc (discectomy) or widening of the opening where a nerve root exits the spine (foraminotomy). Spinal fusion may also be necessary to stabilize the spine by fusing a few segments together.

Request an appointment with one of our Johns Hopkins orthopaedic spine specialists to discuss your radiculopathy treatment options.


Spinal Fusion | George and Scott's Story

Scott shares his story about what it was like undergoing spinal fusion surgery with the Orthopaedic Spine Surgery team at Johns Hopkins and how he is now back enjoying his active lifestyle in Ocean City, Maryland — with the full use of his right arm.


Our Team of Spine Specialists

You can rely on the expertise of our spine specialists, who have helped numerous patients with radiculopathy.

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