What is the role of herniation of the intervertebral disc in lumbosacral radiculopathy?

Updated: Jan 25, 2018
  • Author: Gerard A Malanga, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Answer

Herniation of the intervertebral disc can cause impingement of the above neuronal structures, thus causing pain. The presence of disc material in the epidural space is thought to initially result in direct toxic injury to the nerve root by chemical mediation and then exacerbation of the ensuing intraneural and extraneural swelling, which results in venous congestion and conduction block. Notably, the size of the disc herniation has not been found to be related to the severity of the patient's pain.


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