What is Radiculopathy?

Radiculopathy refers to pain, numbness, or weakness along a nerve's path that can occur when the spinal nerve roots are compressed or pinched. Nerve root compression can lead to persistent pain and neurologic symptoms such as numbness, pins and needles, and weakness. That is why you should only entrust your care to one of the best spinal decompression doctors in Northern Virginia.

Common signs of radiculopathy include:

  • Shooting pain along the affected nerve pathway.
  • Numbness or tingling in specific areas of the body.
  • Muscle weakness in the corresponding region.
  • Difficulty with walking.
  • Loss of dexterity.
  • Radiating pain that worsens with certain movements or positions.
  • Loss of reflexes related to the affected nerve.

Understanding these symptoms is crucial for early detection and prompt intervention. Microsurgical decompression can alleviate this compression using advanced microscopic tools for precision. It is important to consult with one of our expert neurosurgeons at our Northern Virginia practice to explore effective treatments to alleviate the pain associated with radiculopathy.

Doctor media

Choose Virginia Neurosurgeons for Microsurgical Decompression

At Virginia Neurosurgeons, founded in Arlington in 2001, we stand out as the largest, most well-established independent neurosurgical group in Northern Virginia. With a commitment to providing comprehensive, academic-level neurosurgical care in a community setting, we have become leaders in the field and serve patients across the U.S. and abroad. Our board-certified neurosurgeons, educated at prestigious institutions, hold academic faculty appointments with the George Washington University School of Medicine. We pride ourselves on an ethical and honest approach, guiding patients through their conditions and treatment options. Our comprehensive training as spinal neurosurgeons, coupled with an evidence-based approach, enables us to offer high-quality, advanced care to improve mobility and enhance your ability to enjoy life.

What Are the Advantages of Microsurgical Decompression at Virginia Neurosurgeons?

Spinal decompression, particularly through microsurgical techniques, offers a precise and effective solution to alleviate the symptoms associated with radiculopathy. This minimally invasive approach reduces tissue disruption, promotes quicker recovery, and provides targeted relief, allowing patients to regain mobility and comfort. Benefits of microsurgical decompression:

  • Precision in targeting affected nerve roots.
  • Minimized tissue disruption.
  • Quicker recovery time.
  • Reduced postoperative discomfort.
  • Improved mobility and function.
  • Enhanced precision in nerve decompression.
  • Minimized risk of complications.
  • Long-term relief from radiculopathy symptoms.

How Microsurgical Decompression is Performed

Our surgeons may recommend microsurgical decompression after a thorough physical examination and imaging studies. Microsurgical decompression involves several key steps, each contributing to the targeted relief of nerve compression with minimal disruption to surrounding tissues.

Small Incision:

A small incision is made over the affected area, minimizing disruption to surrounding tissues. Specialized tissue spreaders may be utilized to enhance visualizing while limiting surgical dissection.

Microscope Guidance:

A surgical microscope enhances visibility, allowing the surgeon to pinpoint the affected nerve roots precisely.

Nerve Decompression:

Microsurgical tools delicately remove a small portion of bone or tissue that may be compressing the nerve.


The incision is meticulously closed, and the patient is monitored during recovery.

Background media
Doctor holding spine model

Postoperative Care and Recovery

Patients can expect to spend a few hours in a recovery area before discharge. Following the surgery, there might be some discomfort or mild pain at the incision site, but this is generally manageable with prescribed pain medications. Patients are advised to gradually resume light activities and walking, avoiding strenuous activities for the initial weeks. Physical therapy may be recommended to help restore strength and flexibility. It's important to follow the surgeon's postoperative instructions, attend follow-up appointments, and adhere to any rehabilitation plan. Most individuals experience relief from pain relatively soon after the surgery, with the majority of recovery occurring in the first few weeks. 

Spinal Decompression FAQs

What conditions can spinal decompression therapy treat?

How does spinal decompression therapy work, and is it safe?

What can I expect during and after a spinal decompression session?

What conditions can spinal decompression therapy treat?

Spinal decompression therapy is effective in treating a variety of conditions, including herniated discs, bulging discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and chronic back pain. By gently stretching the spine, this therapy creates negative pressure within the discs, promoting retraction and healing of damaged areas. It's a non-surgical option for those seeking relief from these specific spinal issues.

How does spinal decompression therapy work, and is it safe?

Spinal decompression therapy involves the use of a specialized table or device that gently stretches the spine, creating negative pressure within the discs. This process helps to reposition bulging or herniated discs and promote the flow of oxygen, water, and nutrient-rich fluids into the discs, aiding in healing. The procedure is generally considered safe, especially when performed by a trained professional. Most patients experience minimal discomfort, and the non-invasive nature of the therapy makes it an attractive alternative to surgery.

What can I expect during and after a spinal decompression session?

During a spinal decompression session, you will lie on a motorized table, either face up or face down, depending on the specific equipment used. The practitioner will secure you with harnesses around your pelvis and trunk. The table then gently moves to stretch your spine, creating the decompression effect. Sessions typically last 30-45 minutes, and most patients require multiple sessions over several weeks for optimal results. After a session, you may feel immediate relief or gradual improvement over time. It's common to experience mild soreness, similar to what you might feel after a workout, but this typically subsides quickly.

Schedule a Consultation if You are Experiencing Pain from Radiculopathy

If you're dealing with the discomfort of pinched nerves, we encourage you to take the next step towards relief. Please schedule a consultation with Virginia Neurosurgeons, where our experienced team can assess your condition, explore treatment options, and guide you toward a personalized plan for a healthier, pain-free life. Don't let radiculopathy hold you back—let us help you regain control and restore your well-being. Contact us today to embark on your journey to lasting relief and improved quality of life.

Schedule Your ConsultationCommitted To Helping You Live Freely.

Contact Us
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (703) 372-9322.
Contact Us