Radiculopathy refers to an injury at a nerve root that can cause pain, weakness, or numbness along the entire course of the nerve. This is often due to compression of the nerve root as it exits the neural foramen of the spine. This may be secondary to degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, osteoarthritis, calcification of ligaments, or spondylolisthesis, among other causes. Less commonly, radiculopathy may be caused by diabetes, neoplastic lesions, or infectious processes. On exam, aside from thorough sensory and motor exam, Spurling’s test and straight-leg testing are often used to identify cervical or lumbar radiculopathy, respectively. Deep tendon reflexes of the corresponding nerve root may also be diminished. As in plexopathies, MRI and/or EMG/NCS may be useful.


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