Overview of foraminal stenosis
Foraminal stenosis describes the narrowing of the foramina, which are the spaces through which spinal nerve roots branch off the spinal cord. It most commonly occurs when misaligned, inflamed or otherwise damaged portions of the spine press into the foraminal canals, limiting the available space.
Bulging discs, herniated discs, spinal arthritis, spinal bone spurs and other degenerative spine conditions are all common causes of foraminal stenosis. When these conditions develop, they can cause the foraminal canal to narrow, which can lead to nerve compression within the canal. If a nerve is pinched, pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness can appear, as well as other symptoms.
Most patients who are diagnosed with foraminal stenosis are able to relieve their symptoms with nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy or medication. However, a foraminal stenosis surgery is sometimes required to decompress the affected spinal nerve root if conservative options are exhausted without bringing needed relief.
Minimally invasive foraminotomy
Patients who receive little to no relief from several months of conservative treatments may be candidates for a foraminal stenosis procedure called a minimally invasive foraminotomy. This procedure can be used to help treat foraminal stenosis and relieve pressure on the pinched nerve.
A minimally invasive foraminotomy is performed through the following steps:
- A less than 1-inch incision is made in the neck or back
- The muscles around the spine are spread, sparing them from unnecessary disruption
- A small portion of spinal anatomy is removed to provide more space for the spinal nerve root and relieve nerve compression
- The incision is closed
This procedure is performed in an outpatient surgery center, allowing a patient to return to his or her home or a hotel room within hours of surgery.^
Find out if you’re a potential candidate
If your doctor has advised you to undergo neck or back surgery to help treat your foraminal stenosis, you might be a candidate for a minimally invasive foraminal stenosis procedure at USA Spine Care.