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What does it mean if you have severe foraminal narrowing?

Foraminal narrowing is a condition in which degenerative changes in the spine obstruct the openings between vertebrae, limiting the amount of space available for nerves and nerve roots. The effect can be minor and hardly noticeable, or more pronounced, sometimes to the point where nerves are consistently compressed. In the case of severe foraminal narrowing, a person may experience a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including localized and radiating pain, tingling and numbness, muscle weakness and pins-and-needles sensations in the arms or legs.

How do you treat severe foraminal narrowing?

While mild foraminal narrowing may require minimal treatment or none at all, people with severe foraminal narrowing may need to use a variety of therapies to help manage their symptoms.

Usually, the initial treatment approach involves a combination of conservative therapies, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Activity modifications
  • Stretches

These therapies can help relieve pain that occurs when a spinal nerve or nerve root is compressed, but they cannot address the compression itself. While it’s not always necessary to do so, it may be possible to widen the openings through surgery. Therefore, if conservative therapies don’t produce the desired results, surgical treatment may be recommended.

Minimally invasive surgery for foraminal narrowing

At USA Spine Care, we take a minimally invasive approach to neck and back surgery. We welcome patients who have moderate to severe foraminal narrowing to contact us. Our team can provide details about the outpatient procedures we perform to create additional space within the spinal canal. These procedures are performed using muscle-sparing techniques, and most of our patients are up and walking within a few hours of their operation.^

To find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive foraminal narrowing surgery at USA Spine Care, give us a call and ask us for a free MRI review.*

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