Foraminal narrowing, also known as neural foraminal stenosis, is a condition in which one or more foramina, or gaps on either side of vertebrae, are constricted. The narrowing can result from several spinal conditions, including bulging or herniated discs, thickened or inflamed ligaments, bone spurs, fractures, or tumors. Your physician may initially suggest a course of conservative non-surgical treatments such as rest, pain medication, and physical therapy. Surgery for foraminal narrowing may be recommended only if several months of conservative treatments haven’t reduced symptoms. The surgical option suggested to you will typically depend on the cause of the narrowing and may attempt to relieve nerve compression by enlarging or clearing the blocked foramen.
- Foraminotomy – involves the removal of the substance (tissue, disc material, bone, etc.) blocking one or more foramen.
- Laminectomy – removes the lamina of a vertebra and may indirectly relive pressure on a nerve subjected to foraminal narrowing. The laminae create the protective arch at the posterior (back) of the vertebral structure which encases the spinal cord.
- Discectomy – removes all or a portion of a bulging or herniated disc impinging upon a nerve root.
- Fusion – involves the use of intervertebral support cages and bone grafts to promote the fusion of two vertebrae. Fusion is often used in conjunction with one or more procedures above to improve spinal stability after spinal components have been surgically removed.
Laser Spine Institute
Traditionally, surgery for foraminal narrowing means an open back or neck procedure, requiring large incisions, a hospital stay of several days or more, and a lengthy recovery. Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive procedures on an outpatient basis that can treat neural foraminal stenosis and many other spinal conditions. Our orthopedic experts use safe and effective endoscopic techniques that have helped tens of thousands of people worldwide rediscover their lives without back and neck pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute today and receive a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan.