Foraminal stenosis in the neck
Foraminal stenosis in the neck (cervical spine) is a common cause of local pain as well as other neurological symptoms in the upper body. This is because stenosis is a shrinking of the canals that house the spinal nerves as they exit the spinal cord. As the diameter of these canals, known as the foramina, shrink, the nerves can become compressed, which can lead to chronic pain and discomfort.
For some patients, the narrowing of foraminal stenosis does not result in symptoms. That is because the narrowing of the canal itself does not change the integrity of the spine to cause pain. It is only if a nerve root becomes compressed that symptoms will develop. To learn about the symptoms associated with this condition as well as the treatments available for relief, read the following article.
Symptoms of foraminal stenosis in the neck
Stenosis is typically considered a degenerative condition, meaning the foramina gradually shrink over time, eventually leading to a multitude of potential symptoms. Depending on the pathology of the nerve compression, symptoms of foraminal stenosis can include local chronic neck pain, muscle weakness in the shoulders, arms and hands and even numbness or tingling in the fingers.
Many conditions can cause a narrowing of the foramina, but foraminal stenosis in the neck and back is most commonly a result of the following degenerative conditions:
- Arthritis in the spine
- Bulging or herniated discs
- Bone growths
- Degenerative disc disease
Treatment for foraminal stenosis in the neck
Foraminal stenosis treatments vary depending on the source and severity of the condition. Normally, the symptoms of foraminal and spinal stenosis in the neck can be managed conservatively, with physical therapy, low-impact exercise, pain medication, hot and cold therapy and chiropractic care. If these nonsurgical options don’t relieve neck pain after several weeks or months, however, you may consider surgical treatment options.
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a minimally invasive procedure known as a foraminotomy, which relieves pressure on the nerve root as it exits the foraminal canal. Unlike traditional open back surgery, Laser Spine Institute’s foraminotomy is able to widen the foraminal canal through a small incision that does not require the ripping and cutting of muscles and ligaments.
We offer both minimally invasive decompression surgery to remove a small portion of a bone spur or damaged disc in the foraminal canal and a minimally invasive stabilization surgery to replace a damaged disc or vertebra with an artificial disc or bone graft. To learn more about a foraminotomy, contact Laser Spine Institute.
At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive approach offers our patients a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery with a shorter recovery time.^ Our team of board-certified+ surgeons are leaders in minimally invasive spine surgery, and we can provide you with a free MRI review* to find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient procedures. Reach out to us today so we can help you get started on your journey to wellness.