Foraminal Stenosis


What Is Foraminal Stenosis? 

Foraminal stenosis is a condition in which one or more of the vertebral foramen narrows, impinging on or “pinching” the spinal nerve roots. It may be caused by a variety of conditions, most of which are associated with degenerative changes in the spine. These include:

  • A herniated or bulging disc
  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Ligament thickening
  • Scar tissue
  • Spinal joint enlargement

Because spinal stenosis is so often precipitated by spinal degeneration, it’s most commonly found in patients age 50 or over; however, genetics and congenital conditions also may be a factor.

What Are The Symptoms of Foraminal Stenosis?

The symptoms of foraminal stenosis may include one or more of the following: 

  • Back or neck pain that tends to worsen progressively rather than develop suddenly.
  • Radiating pain that extends into other parts of the body
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Burning, tingling (“pins and needles”) sensation

How Is Foraminal Stenosis Treated?

If there is minimal nerve involvement and your symptoms are mild and do not interfere with daily life, conservative measures may be warranted.

  • Medication.
  • Posture correction
  • Activity modification
  • Exercise/physical
  • External bracing
  • Pain management injections, such as epidural steroid injections.

If conservative treatment fails to provide lasting relief, your doctor may recommend spine surgery to remove the source of pressure on the spinal nerve roots. Surgical therapies for treating foraminal stenosis may include:

  • Minimally Invasive Laminectomy
  • Minimally Invasive Foraminotomy
  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion
  • Anterior cervical discectomy with fusion