Cervical Radiculopathy: Current Diagnostic and Treatment Options


Cervical nerve root compression, in contrast to nerve root irritation, results in an objective neurologic deficit of the affected nerve root. The purpose of this article is to highlight current diagnostic and treatment options that have proven efficient and safe in managing cervical root compression. The natural history of cervical disc disease and the clinical patterns and causes of cervical radiculopathy are reviewed. Electromyography and reformatted mutiplanar CT scans in addition to MRI are valuable diagnostic modalities. Although anterior cervical discectomy and interbody fusion remains the gold standard of treatment, microendoscopic foraminotomies and discectomies done from posterior and anterior approaches are effective and safe. The role of disc arthroplasty in the treatment of radiculopathy is evolving. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 18(1):13–18, 2009)

Richard J. Nasca, MD