What are my foraminal stenosis treatment options?

Foraminal stenosis treatments run the gamut from over-the-counter medicine to open-spine surgery, and what’s prescribed depends on the specifics of each patient’s case. Several treatment methods may be used over time if your symptoms are not alleviated or if your condition changes. Of course, no matter what course of action you take, all decisions about treating foraminal stenosis – also known as foraminal narrowing – should be made with the guidance of a physician.

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with foraminal stenosis, or if you 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 strengthen the back and increase flexibility. 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 more severe discomfort from foraminal stenosis; however, these injections come with a variety of side effects and are only a temporary fix.

Surgical foraminal narrowing treatment

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 decompression procedure called a foraminotomy. A foraminotomy involves enlarging the passageway between two vertebrae 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 instruments. This allows our surgeons to treat the spine condition on an outpatient basis while minimizing tissue damage and greatly reducing the risk of complications compared to open spine surgery.

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 at no cost* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.