Foraminal stenosis treatments run the gamut from over-the-counter medicine to invasive surgery, and what’s prescribed depends on the specifics of each patient’s case. Several of these treatments may be used over time if a patient’s symptoms are not alleviated or if his or her condition changes. Of course, no matter what course of action a patient takes, all decisions about treating spinal stenosis should be made with the guidance of a physician.
For patients recently diagnosed with foraminal stenosis, or for those who experience only mild to moderate symptoms, physicians often recommend treatments like over-the-counter pain killers or anti-inflammatory medicines. They may also suggest their patients wear a back brace for a short period of time or do some gentle exercises like swimming, walking or stretching to continue strengthening the back. Physical therapy, hot and cold compresses, massage and alternative options like acupuncture may also be suggested, based on your specific condition and your physician’s philosophies.
If none of those foraminal stenosis treatments are successful, your physician will likely begin to explore more powerful methods for pain relief, like prescription medications. More commonly, though, physicians turn to an epidural injection of corticosteroids to ease a patient’s more severe discomfort from foraminal stenosis; however, these injections come with a variety of side effects and are only a temporary fix.
Surgical foraminal stenosis treatments
For a portion of patients, the foraminal stenosis treatments mentioned above will bring little to no lasting relief. If your condition has advanced to this stage, and the pain severely limits your daily activities, your physician may recommend foraminal stenosis surgery.
Laser Spine Institute relieves pain caused by foraminal stenosis with a procedure called a foraminotomy. A foraminotomy involves enlarging the passageway in the vertebra that nerves pass through when they travel out of the spine and toward the rest of the body. Scar tissue, a bulging disc and bone spurs can narrow the passageway (called the foramen), squeezing the nerve and causing pain associated with foraminal stenosis. By removing the overgrown tissue, a foraminotomy relieves pressure on the nerve.
Laser Spine Institute can treat foraminal stenosis in a minimally invasive manner using advanced techniques and surgical implements. This allows our surgeons to treat the spine condition on an outpatient basis while minimizing tissue damage and greatly reducing the risk of complications.
If you’d like more information about foraminal stenosis treatments at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today. We’ll be happy to review your MRI or CT scan.