Radiculopathy Due to Focal Spinal Cord Compression
In some patients with radiculopathy, the etiology is not nerve root compression but instead spinal cord compression. We studied the location of compression in 36 patients with radiculopathy. In about 60% of the patients, there was no nerve root compression, but compression of the spinal cord itself was found. We measured the interpedicular distance and the anteroposterior diameter of the spinal canal in patients with radiculopathy or myelopathy, and found no significant differences (p<0.01) in the interpedicular distance. The anteroposterior diameter of the spinal canal, however, was significantly wider in the patients with radiculopathy (p<0.01). In the pathogenesis of radiculopathy, low-grade compression of the spinal cord may cause regional compression/friction myelitis that eventually leads to radiculopathy.