Foraminal Stenosis is a type of spinal stenosis in which the narrowing of the disc space in the spinal canal. The spine is comprised of 33 bones that each have an opening big enough to comfortably accommodate the spinal cord. These bones need smaller openings called foramen to allow spinal cord nerves to leave the spine and innervate various parts of the body. When something happens to the foramen that causes them to narrow and compress nerves to the point of producing chronic back pain. Foraminal stenosis may occur in the cervical, lumbar or thoracic areas of the neck and back.
The causes of foraminal stenosis include herniated or bulging discs restricting foramen openings and “pinching” spine nerves traveling through the opening out to the body. Bone spurs, calcified bone or ligaments growing in and around foramen, narrowing the openings and restricting normal functioning of nerves will produce pain and numbness associated with foraminal stenosis and spinal stenosis. Osteoarthritis may also create bone spurs responsible for narrowing foramen openings
Symptoms of foraminal stenosis are similar to spinal stenosis, a condition that that involves narrowing of the spinal canal instead of the foramen. However, symptoms often differ among patients, depending on which areas of the spine are affected.
Classic signs of foraminal stenosis include:
Factors that may increase the risk of developing foraminal stenosis involve smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity and unhealthy diet. Pain that radiates into the thighs, calves and even the feet may be caused by lumbar foraminal stenosis, which may be misdiagnosed as spinal stenosis unless further tests are completed and X-rays are taken to help distinguish one condition from the other.
Initially, doctors may prescribe non-steroideal anti-infammatory drugs, massage therapy and steroidal injections to relieve pain. If these nonsurgical treatments fail to alleviate the discomfort of nerve compression, a surgical procedure called a foraminotomy is usually recommended that enlarges affected foramen and allows nerves to leave the spine through normal-sized openings.
The Bonati Spine Institute is the world leader in advanced spine surgery with leadership measures by innovation, experience and documented success. The Bonati Spine Institute was the first Orthopedic Ambulatory Surgical Center in the US, 1st obtain FDA approval for the use of the Holmium YAG laser on the spine, 1st to receive US Patent for instrumentation for laser spine surgical procedures, Dr Bonati holds 7 patents and was the first person to obtain a United States Patent for instruments and procedures involving arthroscopic laser spine surgery with more than 45,000 successful procedures and over 94% patient satisfaction rate.
At the Bonati Spine Institute we offer a free MRI review for patients seeking relief from debilitating pain due to foraminal stenosis. Contact the Bonati Spine Institute to learn more about foraminal stenosis and see if you are a candidate for the sucessful Bonati procedures or request a free relief package today to regain the quality of your life.