Lumbosacral Radiculopathy

ExitCare ImageLumbosacral radiculopathy is a pinched nerve or nerves in the low back (lumbosacral area). When this happens you may have weakness in your legs and may not be able to stand on your toes. You may have pain going down into your legs. There may be difficulties with walking normally. There are many causes of this problem. Sometimes this may happen from an injury, or simply from arthritis or boney problems. It may also be caused by other illnesses such as diabetes. If there is no improvement after treatment, further studies may be done to find the exact cause.

DIAGNOSIS

X-rays may be needed if the problems become long standing. Electromyograms may be done. This study is one in which the working of nerves and muscles is studied.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Applications of ice packs may be helpful. Ice can be used in a plastic bag with a towel around it to prevent frostbite to skin. This may be used every 2 hours for 20 to 30 minutes, or as needed, while awake, or as directed by your caregiver.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • If physical therapy was prescribed, follow your caregiver's directions.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have pain not controlled with medications.

  • You seem to be getting worse rather than better.

  • You develop increasing weakness in your legs.

  • You develop loss of bowel or bladder control.

  • You have difficulty with walking or balance, or develop clumsiness in the use of your legs.

  • You have a fever.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.