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Often referred to as a “pinched nerve,” cervical radiculopathy occurs when a nerve root is irritated or compressed at its point of exit from the spinal canal. The nerves in the cervical spine enable sensation to the arms and hands, as well as transmit electrical signals that provide motor signals for movement. Nerve compression interferes with the transmission of impulses, causing pain, muscle weakness and/or alterations in sensation in the area that the nerve supplies.

Cervical, thoracic, or lumbar radiculopathies can occur. Radiculopathy refers to a problem affecting the nerve roots and is distinguished from myelopathy, which denotes a problem with the spinal cord.


Symptoms generally radiate from the neck and may affect the shoulders, arms, or hands. Depending on the severity of nerve compression and its location, function may become impaired. Examples may include difficulty raising the arm over the head or lifting/carrying heavier loads. Cervical radiculopathy can have a sudden onset or develop slowly over time. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Occipital headaches (pain just above the back of the neck)
Cervical Radiculopathy


Dr. Stieber begins with a thorough history and neurologic examination. Depending on these findings, X-rays, CT scan, MRI, or nerve conduction studies may be ordered.

Many patients obtain relief from medications, nerve blocks, and/or physical therapy. A cervical collar can be used to provide temporary support and limit neck motion.

Cervical Radiculopathy

For a subset of patients, cervical radiculopathy may not improve with non-surgical care. Intractable pain and increasing weakness or numbness are signs that the underlying condition (e.g., herniated disc) may be worsening. For these patients, Dr. Stieber is able to offer highly effective, minimally disruptive surgical treatment options. Many of these options can be performed as an outpatient or with a single overnight hospital stay.

These procedures include: Laminoforaminotomy, Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, and Disc Replacement.

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Dear Patients:

Our patients' health and safety is our number one priority. Our office continues to be open for all email, telephone, and online inquiries. You can call us at 646-916-3962 or contact us via email to schedule your virtual telemedicine or in-person visit. Our doctors will be holding regular office hours for virtual video consultations and follow-up visits that permit you to stay in the comfort of your own home, utilizing your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Additionally, we will continue to see select patients in the office for consultation and follow-up visits, including preoperative and postoperative appointments. Our doctors continue to perform procedures in our private, free-standing surgery center that offers an array of outpatient surgical services to treat spinal issues such as acute back pain, disc herniations, sciatica, and pinched nerves in the back or neck. We are also able to offer clean and efficient on-site x-ray capabilities in our office.

Please know that we join our community in taking all advised precautions* to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Call today to schedule a consultation and explore your options with the Spine Center at OrthoManhattan.

The following precautionary measures have been established to ensure the safest environment possible:

  • All patients are screened both prior to and on the day of their office appointment. Patients will not be permitted in the office and will be asked to reschedule their appointment if:
    • You or anyone in your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
    • You have been in contact with anybody who has tested positive for coronavirus or have traveled (both domestically and internationally) within the last 14 days.
  • We have updated our patient and visitor policies:
    • Only a limited number of patients will be permitted on the office hour schedule.
    • No additional visitors or family members are allowed to accompany the patient during their office visit, unless the patient is in need of an aide or a translator
    • Infants, children, and adolescents are asked to stay home and will not be permitted to accompany the patient to their appointment.

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