What is Radiculitis?

Radiculitis refers to pain that radiates along the nerve caused by inflammation at the root of its connection to the spinal column. This is known as radicular pain and it’s caused by a nerve problem in the spine resulting in symptoms that can be felt in either of the arms or legs.

Radiculitis is a term used to describe the symptoms felt when a nerve or nerve root is pinched, irritated, inflamed, or simply put, just not working properly.

Radiculitis is commonly treated at Orlando Orthopaedic Center using both minimally invasive surgery and non-surgical methods as required by our board certified spine surgeons.

A majority of patients treated at Orlando Orthopaedic Center report an improvement in their condition.

What Are Common Radiculitis Symptoms?

Pain and other symptoms in the early stages tend to be mild in nature, but can increase if the condition is ignored or left untreated. Common symptoms include:

  • Local neck or lower back pain pain
  • Pain that flows down the arms or legs
  • Numbness in the arms or legs
  • Muscular weakness in the arms or legs
  • Pain may also be felt in the shoulders or chest depending on which nerve is affected

What Are Radiculitis Treatment Options?

Non-surgical treatment for radiculitis may include heat and/or cold therapy, exercises to help strengthen your back, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy combined with activity modification. Most patients do well with the above treatments and find their symptoms are often lessened or relieved within six weeks.

What Happens During Radiculitis Surgery?

Your spinal surgeon will work with you to explore all of your options and identify the most effective and least invasive method possible while ensuring your optimum level of recovery. Surgical procedures that can be performed to treat radiculitis include:


A discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove a part of a bulging or herniated disc. The disc can cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness from pressing on the spinal nerves or spinal cord. A discectomy is performed to decrease pain and allow you to regain normal movement and function.


A foraminotomy is used to remove the disc fragments, overgrown ligaments and bone spurs from the neural foramen, an opening in the spinal canal. This increases the space around the neural foramen and relieves the compression of the spinal nerves.

Who Should Consider Radiculitis Surgery?

Surgery should be considered for individuals who have failed conservative treatment with medications and injections, or those with symptoms that are so severe that they are starting to lose significant function and are at risk for permanent nerve damage.

All risks and benefits of spine surgery should be considered before making a decision. The spine surgeon will discuss all available options and treatments.

What Are the Results of Radiculitis Surgery?

Surgery is successful in relieving back pain in a majority of patients. A majority of patients with acute or severe back pain can benefit more from a foraminotomy or discectomy.