A member asked:

Can you explain what are neuritis, radiculitis, radiculopathy, sciatica and cauda equina?

6 doctors weighed in across 5 answers
Dr. Mark Weston answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery

To me neuritis means nerve inflamation outside the spine radiculitis is inflamation of the nerve roots within the spine radiculopathy is the dysfunction caused by spinal nerve root compression foot drop toe numbness pain sciatica is a clinical diagnosis buttocks and leg p.Down the back of your leg to heel cauda equina is latin for horses tail describes the appearance of the spinal cord.

Answered Mar 14, 2013

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Dr. Alexandre De Moura answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery

The nervous system can be affected three ways. The first is neuritis, which is an irritation of the nerves in the periphery . The second is radiculopathy which is the irritation of the nerve root from its origin in the spine which can cause pain down your leg such as "sciatica ".. The third is myelopathy which is compression of the spinal cord and give you symptoms such as an unstable gait.

Answered Mar 14, 2013

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Dr. Ron Jones answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Not enough space for all. The suffix "itis" is associated with "inflammation" of something. Thus neur-itis is inflammation of a nerve. Radicul-itis is inflammation of a spinal nerve or its "path" of travel. Radiculopathy is an abnormal state of "disease" such as compression of a spinal nerve and its "path" of travel. Hint on cauda equina = horses tail". Nerves at end of cord.

Answered Dec 9, 2013

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Dr. Mark Weston answered

Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery

These are all similar terms neuritis is inflamation of a peripheral nervec radiculitis is inflation of a nerve rootr adiculopathy is chacteristic pain pattetn from a radiculitis siatica is ageneral term that describesva chacteristic pain in buttocks and leg often caused by a radiculits or neuritis of siatic nerve. Cauda equina is the name of the large group of nerves that comes off spinal cord tip.

Answered Nov 18, 2015

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Dr. Qamar Khan answered

Specializes in Pain Management

Neuritis/Radiculitis are synonyms suggesting sciatica pain but without significant exam findings. Radiculopathy is a term for sciatica that causes, numbness, weakness and reflex changes on exam. Sciatica is term for all of the above but generally includes back and leg pain. Cauda Equina is an spine emergency that needs evaluation because of weakness, pelvic numbness and bowel/bladder issues.

Answered Jul 10, 2014

3.9k views

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