Radiculopathy is a type of neck and back injury that can result from a traumatic event such as an accident. Treatment of this type of injury can take several months and keep a person from working or participating in regular activities during that time. If you sustained radiculopathy from an accident, you should know your options for seeking compensation for your damages.
For help filing a claim for compensation, call Buttafuoco & Associates today: 1-800-NOW-HURT.
What is radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy, more commonly known as a pinched nerve, is caused by the compression of the nerve roots of the vertebrae. Compression of these nerve roots causes pain and disrupts the signals being sent by those nerves. This compression can lead to numbness or loss of sensation along the path of that nerve.
The main symptom of radiculopathy is pain originating from the location of the compressed nerve. This pain can spread into the chest, arms, hands, shoulders, hips, legs, and feet. Other symptoms may include:
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Lack of coordination
Causes of Radiculopathy
Radiculopathy is often the result of another back or neck injury such as a herniated disc or intervertebral disc degeneration. After a herniated disc, there is less cushion to keep the vertebra flexible and stop them from rubbing together. The nerves near the damaged disc can become trapped between bones that rub together during disc degeneration.
Radiculopathy can also occur as the direct result of trauma where the nerve roots become compressed because of a slipped disc or misaligned vertebra.
There are risk factors associated with developing radiculopathy including:
- Heavy manual labor
- Driving or operating vibrating equipment
If you engage in any of these activities on a regular basis, you may be at a higher risk of suffering from radiculopathy after an accident.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Radiculopathy
To diagnose radiculopathy, your doctor will need to know the details about when the pain started and any accident that may have caused the condition. During the physical examination, your doctor will check for tenderness, weakness, and range of motion. X-rays and MRIs may be necessary to see the bone and soft tissue structures of the neck and back.
After a radiculopathy diagnosis, your doctor will put together a treatment plan to help relieve pain and reduce the risk of re-injury. Pain relief may come in the form of medications for pain control and reduce inflammation. You may need to use a cervical collar or neck brace to help keep your head properly aligned and stable for healing. Specially shaped pillows may also help keep your spine straight while sleeping.
When non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief, surgery may be necessary. The most common surgery for radiculopathy is vertebral fusion where a surgeon removes the damaged disc and fuses the two vertebrae near the pinched nerve together to prevent further nerve irritation. After surgery, you may have to wear a neck or back brace for several weeks.
Recovering Damages from Radiculopathy Treatment
Suffering from radiculopathy is not only painful, but it can also become very expensive. Medical treatment for your condition may last several months and require specialists for complete rehabilitation. While recovering, your activity may be limited by a neck or back brace, and you will be unable to work if you have to recover from surgery.
The lost time from your normal activities and work, added to the medical costs of recovery create the damages you can seek in a personal injury claim. If the accident that caused your radiculopathy resulted from the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to file a claim for injury compensation.
Talk to the personal injury attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates for information and answers to your questions about your right to file a claim for damages. Call 1-800-NOW-HURT for a free case review.