What is a ventral nerve root?

A ventral root is a type of nerve root that branches off the spinal cord, exits the spinal column and continues on its path to specific areas of the body. At each level of the spinal cord, two nerve roots branch out, one to the left and one to the right. At the innermost base of each spinal nerve, there are two roots, the ventral root (also called anterior root), and the dorsal root (also called the posterior root).

The ventral root is an efferent root, meaning it carries neural signals away from the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) and toward the limbs and organs. This nerve root is made up of motor neurons that exit the spinal cord and send electrochemical signals to the body’s muscles and glands. These nerve impulses help to control muscular contractions, hormone synthesis and gland secretion in the body.

The dorsal root, on the other hand, is an afferent root, meaning it carries neural signals from the limbs and organs back to the spinal cord and brain. This nerve root’s role is to contain sensory neurons that enter the spinal cord and that control information like pain and temperature sensations. Read on to learn more about the spinal anatomy of nerve roots, including the conditions associated with the ventral nerve root and treatment options for the chronic symptoms experienced.

Ventral nerve root conditions

There are several conditions that can lead to the damage or constriction of a ventral root as it exits the spinal column. One example is foraminal stenosis, where the foramen, which is the empty space between each vertebra through which spinal nerves travel on their way to other parts of the body, begin to constrict or narrow.

This constriction then puts undue stress on nerves passing through them, causing pain, numbness, tingling or, in acute cases, loss of some muscle functionality. Conditions that could cause foraminal stenosis include facet cysts, bone spurs, herniated or bulging discs and thickening ligaments.

Ventral nerve root treatment options

If your doctor has diagnosed you with a condition involving constriction of the ventral root, he or she may recommend physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, anti-inflammatory medication or steroidal injections as a conservative measure of treatment. If these nonsurgical therapies do not prove effective, contact Laser Spine Institute about our minimally invasive procedures that can help you find relief from a damaged ventral nerve root.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer state-of-the-art procedures that result in no lengthy recovery and are a safer and effective alternative compared to traditional open spine surgery.^ Our highly skilled surgeons are able to perform muscle-sparing procedures through a less than 1-inch incision in order to provide the patient with lasting relief. We are pleased to have helped more than 75,000 patients get their lives back from their chronic conditions.

Reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and schedule a no-cost MRI review* to see if you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures and take the next step on your journey to wellness.