If a patient is experiencing nerve pain, Dr. Henry may use a variety of different tests to diagnose the pain. Some of these tests may include EMG nerve tests, CT/Myelogram scans, MRIs, and selective nerve injections.
Cervical radiculopathy is a type of nerve pain that begins in the cervical spine. This type of pain may often be accompanied by a weakness in the neck, as well as some numbness. For some patients, pain will also radiate to the arms.
After a person suffers a nerve injury whether it is from trauma or illness, the injured nerve attempts to regenerate itself by growing additional nerve units. In ideal situations, the new nerve units will develop over the entire nerve and the nerve’s proper function will be restored. A nerve can regenerate rapidly on its own, typically recovering approximately one inch each month. However, for some patients, the nerves are unable to regenerate normally. In such cases, 3 or more months may pass without any healing. If this occurs, the patient may need surgery.
First, we attempt conservative treatment for nerve pain. If this were unsuccessful and the nerve pain persists, then we would consider surgery for decompression of the nerve. This decompression surgery would entail providing a foraminotomy which would oftentimes be the best choice. During foraminotomy, Dr. Henry reduces pressure on the specific nerves causing pain by enlarging the area where the spinal nerves leave the spinal canal. Another option would be a laminectomy to decompress the entire spinal canal. Finally, if specific nerve roots are causing pain to the facet joints, Dr. Henry may selectively ablate the nerves that are causing your pain during a rhizotomy procedure using radiofrequency.
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