Cervical Radiculopathy Ames IA

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Sarkis Kaspar
(515) 239-4475
1215 Duff Ave
Ames, IA
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery of the Spine

Data Provided By:
Peter G Buck, MD
(515) 239-4475
PO Box 3014
Ames, IA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1978

Data Provided By:
Thomas Andrew Greenwald, MD
(515) 239-4475
1215 Duff Ave
Ames, IA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1987

Data Provided By:
James Andrew Friederich, MD
(515) 239-4400
3112 Greenwood Rd
Ames, IA
Specialties
Orthopedics, Hand Surgery
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1986

Data Provided By:
Julie Diane Cassaidy, DDS
(515) 232-2152
707 5th St Ste 102
Ames, IA
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
Robert Graham Gitchell, MD
(515) 239-4475
PO Box 3014
Ames, IA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1967

Data Provided By:
David Kent Sneller, MD
(515) 239-4475
1215 Duff Ave
Ames, IA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Ia Coll Of Med, Iowa City Ia 52242
Graduation Year: 1995

Data Provided By:
William A Baird, MD
(515) 233-3431
3911 Stone Brooke Cir
Ames, IA
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided By:
Thomas M Stark, DDS
(515) 232-2255
1212 Duff Ave
Ames, IA
Specialties
Orthodontics/Dentofacial Orthopedics

Data Provided By:
James Andrew Friederich
(515) 239-4475
1215 Duff Ave
Ames, IA
Specialty
Hand Surgery

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Cervical Radiculopathy

A Patient's Guide to Cervical Radiculopathy

Introduction

Neck pain has many causes. Mechanical neck pain comes from injury or inflammation in the soft tissues of the neck. This is much different and less concerning than symptoms that come from pressure on the nerve roots as they exit the spinal column. People sometimes refer to this problem as a pinched nerve. Health care providers call it cervical radiculopathy.

This guide will help you understand

  • how the problem develops
  • how doctors diagnose the condition
  • what treatment options are available

Anatomy

What part of the neck is involved?

The spine is made of a column of bones. Each bone, or vertebra, is formed by a round block of bone, called a vertebral body. A bony ring attaches to the back of the vertebral body. When the vertebra bones are stacked on top of each other, the bony rings forms a long bony tube that surrounds and protects the spinal cord as it passes through the spine.

Traveling from the brain down through the spinal column, the spinal cord sends out nerve branches through openings on both sides of each vertebra. These openings are called the neural foramina. (The term used to describe a single opening is foramen.)

The intervertebral disc sits directly in front of the opening. A bulged or herniated disc can narrow the opening and put pressure on the nerve. A facet joint sits in back of the foramen. Bone spurs that form on the facet joint can project into the tunnel, narrowing the hole and pinching the nerve.

An intervertebral disc fits between the vertebral bodies and provides a space between the spine bones. The disc normally works like a shock absorber. An intervertebral disc is made of two parts. The center, called the nucleus, is spongy. It provides most of the shock absorption. The nucleus is held in place by the annulus, a series of strong ligament rings surrounding it. Ligaments are strong connective tissues that attach bones to other bones.

Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Cervical Spine Anatomy

Causes

Why do I have this problem?

Cervical radiculopathy is caused by any condition that puts pressure on the nerves where they leave the spinal column. This is much different than mechanical neck pain. Mechanical neck pain is caused by injury or inflammation in the soft tissues of the neck, such as the discs, facet joints, ligaments, or muscles.

The main causes of cervical radiculopathy include degeneration, disc herniation, and spinal instability.

Degeneration

View animation of degenerative changes

As the spine ages, several changes occur in the bones and soft tissues. The disc loses its water content and begins to collapse, causing the space between the vertebrae to narrow. The added pressure may irritate and inflame the facet joints, causing them to become enlarged. When this happens, the enlarged joints can press against the nerves going to the arm as they try to squeeze through ...

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