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Classification according to ICD-10
M54.1- Radiculopathy
G55 .- * Compression of nerve roots and nerve plexuses in diseases classified elsewhere
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

As a radiculopathy or a radiculitis ( Latin radicula , "small root" and Greek -πάθεια , -páthia , "disease" or -ίτις , -itis , "inflammation"), also as a root neuritis or a root syndrome becomes an irritation or damage to the nerve roots . It can manifest itself in disturbances of sensation , pain or paralysis . The symptoms can be acute or chronic .


Noticeable symptoms are usually abnormal sensations (tingling, pain, numbness) in the area of ​​the affected nerve root. Depending on the severity of the disorder, sensitivity in the affected area may be reduced, motor skills may fail, and reflexes may even be absent.

Severe pain often severely restricts the patient's freedom of movement . In chronified complaints often leads to depressive moods .

If the disorder is not limited to a single root ( monoradiculitis ), but affects several nerve roots ( polyradiculitis ) and especially those that supply the diaphragm (in humans, roots C 3 to C 5 ) or the auxiliary respiratory muscles , there is an acute danger to life due to impending respiratory failure , and readiness for intubation must be maintained for any ventilation that may become necessary .


The causes of radiculopathy can be extremely diverse. These are mainly pathological changes that are associated with the spine ("cervical / lumbar radiculopathy" - damage to the nerve roots in the neck or lumbar area), such as:


Radiculopathy occurs particularly frequently in middle and older age. It is often the reason for incapacity for work .

See also

Guillain-Barré syndrome , pain therapy , polyneuropathy , neuritis , plexus lesion , root compression syndrome

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