Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Radiculopathy in Central GA

What is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Our orthopaedic spine specialists at OrthoGeorgia have years of experience diagnosing and treating spine conditions and injuries, including cervical radiculopathy. This condition is more commonly referred to as a pinched nerve. It occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated. The vertebrae of the spine are subject to wear and tear as we age, and this gradual degeneration can lead to degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and cervical radiculopathy. Pinched nerves in the neck often respond well to conservative treatment. Guidance from one of our physicians at OrthoGeorgia will ensure that your neck or back condition is properly diagnosed and treated according to your unique needs.

What are the Symptoms of Cervical Radiculopathy? 

The nerves of the neck extend to the shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back, meaning that symptoms of cervical radiculopathy can affect much more than just your neck. Cervical radiculopathy most commonly causes pain that begins in the neck and progresses to the arm. The area affected will be the area served by the damaged nerve. The pain may be burning or sharp. Other symptoms caused by a pinched nerve in the neck include tingling in the hands and fingers, arm or shoulder muscle weakness, and loss of sensation in the affected area. Those with cervical radiculopathy often experience neck pain and headaches towards the back of the head, referred to as occipital headaches.

Diagnosis of Cervical Radiculopathy at OrthoGeorgia

Diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy at OrthoGeorgia starts with a review of your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor will ask questions about what you are experiencing and the parts of your body that are affected. They will then check your neck, shoulder, arms, and hands for any problems with sensation or reflexes that may be connected to the nerves in your neck. They may also ask if moving your arms or neck a certain way relieves or increases pain. 

Several imaging tests are used to get a better picture of what is causing your pain and whether or not cervical radiculopathy is the culprit. A CT scan can give your spine specialist a clear image of your cervical spine. X-rays may be used to look for the narrowing of vertebral openings or disc injury, and MRI may be used to check for damage to nerve roots. Digital X-ray is offered at all OrthoGeorgia locations. We offer CT scans at our Macon Spine and Orthopaedic Center and MRI scans at our Macon (Buildings A and B) and Warner Robins offices. Patients have the added benefit of our Signa Voyager Wide Bore MRI machine from GE Healthcare, which offers advanced comfort and crisper, cleaner images.

Treatment of Cervical Radiculopathy in Central GA

Nonsurgical Treatment for Cervical Radiculopathy

In 85% of cases, cervical radiculopathy symptoms resolve on their own after eight to twelve weeks. Persistent symptoms may prompt your physician to pursue different treatment options to see what works best for you. Nonsurgical treatment options for cervical radiculopathy are successful for 90% of those with the condition. A neck brace may be recommended to manage and alleviate symptoms by minimizing neck movement and reducing nerve root irritation. Certain medications can also help manage this condition. These include NSAIDs to provide pain relief and target inflammation and oral corticosteroids to reduce swelling and inflammation around the pinched nerve. 

Physical Therapy Care in Central Georgia

In some cases, physical therapy is an ideal nonsurgical treatment option. One of our physical therapists will work with you on exercises designed to stretch and strengthen your neck muscles throughout different stages of your treatment plan. We are proud to create individualized care plans for our patients, ensuring that the steps taken are unique to your specific condition and needs. Patients can visit our Macon (Buildings A and B), Warner Robins, and Kathleen offices for personalized physical therapy care in Central GA.

Surgery for Cervical Radiculopathy in Central GA

In cases where nonsurgical treatments fail to address cervical radiculopathy and its symptoms, surgery may be recommended. Surgery is often indicated when pain lasts at least six to twelve weeks following nonsurgical treatments. There are several surgical options for this condition, and your physician at OrthoGeorgia will determine the best path forward based on the severity of your condition and your overall health and medical history. The most common surgical procedures used to address cervical radiculopathy are:

  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)
    • During this procedure, the problematic disc or bone spur is removed. A spinal fusion is then performed to fuse the vertebrae and encourage them to heal into one single, solid bone.
  • Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR)
    • A degenerated disc is removed and replaced with an artificial version to allow for flexibility in the spine and maintain more normal motion. 
  • Posterior Cervical Laminoforaminotomy
    • By accessing the spine through the back of the neck, your doctor will be able to access the damaged nerve and remove the bone, bone spurs, and tissues that are compressing the nerve root.

Other Spine and Back Conditions We Treat at OrthoGeorgia

Our orthopaedic spine specialists at OrthoGeorgia work with patients of all ages to diagnose and treat spine conditions and injuries that cause discomfort and pain. Proper diagnosis and treatment of back, spine, and neck conditions are crucial so you can continue to live your most comfortable life. These conditions include:

Quote icon
OrthoGeorgia has me back in the driver seat.

“Dr.Schnetzer he did surgery on me, very good doctor. That's the doctor you want to work on you, somebody that go in and see a problem, and fix it. It's the same thing I do in my passion with cars."

Nick C. Buckhalter

Orthopaedic Spine Specialists at OrthoGeorgia

Dr. William Brooks headshot
William W. Brooks, MD
Dr. William Dasher headshot
William B. Dasher III, MD
Dr. Wayne Kelley headshot
Wayne Kelley Jr., MD
Schnetzer 500px
Ryan E. Schnetzer, MD

Spine Care Locations

Location Icon HeroMacon Spine Center

Spine Center

3708 Northside Drive, Building B, Macon, GA 31210

Call (478) 745-4206

Location Icon HeroWarner Robins

Warner Robins Urgent Care

301 Margie Drive, Warner Robins, GA 31088

Call (478) 971-1153

Location Icon HeroKathleen

Kathleen Orthopaedic Center

2510 GA-127, Kathleen, GA 31047

Call (478) 971-1153

Location Icon HeroMilledgeville

OrthoGeorgia Milledgeville office

2803 North Columbia Street, Suite D, Milledgeville, GA 31061

Call (478) 414-5820

Location Icon HeroDublin

Dublin Orthopaedic

109 Fairview Park Drive, Suite B, Dublin, GA 31021

Call (478) 745-4206

Awards and Affiliations

Viewers Choice 2020
The Telegraph Best of 2021
Greater Macon Business of Year
Go Beyond Proffit Member
Top 100
AAAHC Accreditation
ACR Radiology Computed
ACR Radiology Magnetic
ACR Radiology Magnetic
TheOrthoForum Member
Greater Macon Business of Year