Foraminal Stenosis Treatment & Surgery in Princeton & Staten Island


What is foraminal stenosis?

The word foramen means “opening.” When relating to the spine, foramen refers to the small openings between each vertebra, through which the spinal nerves travel. The word stenosis means “narrowing.” Foraminal stenosis is a certain type of narrowing, or spinal stenosis.

When the foramen narrows, it can result in a pinched nerve, pain, tingling, and other symptoms. In most cases, foraminal stenosis occurs in the cervical region of the spine (neck) or lumbar region of the spine (lower back).

If you’re experiencing neck or lower back pain and/or other symptoms, you could have cervical or lumbar foraminal stenosis. Schedule an appointment with New Jersey Spine Surgeons for diagnosis, treatment, and surgery options. Our Princeton and Staten Island spine doctors boast the expertise and state-of-the-art technology necessary to restore your spinal health.

What causes foraminal stenosis?

Like spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis is typically caused by spinal aging and degenerative changes that take place in the spine due to wear and tear over time. Degenerative spine conditions can cause the foraminal canal to become clogged with debris or narrowed. Lumbar and cervical foraminal stenosis can also result from or be accelerated by a number of other possible causes, including:

What are the symptoms of foraminal stenosis?

Symptoms associated with foraminal stenosis may vary from patient to patient, based on the underlying cause, location (neck or lower back), and severity of the condition. While some patients may experience no symptoms with foraminal stenosis, others may experience pain or the following other symptoms.

Foraminal Stenosis in the Neck (Cervical Foraminal Stenosis)

  • Numbness or tingling in the hand, arm, or shoulder
  • Muscle weakness

Foraminal Stenosis in the Lower Back (Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis)

  • Numbness or tingling in the legs
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sciatica

How is foraminal narrowing diagnosed?

If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be indicative of foraminal stenosis or if you believe you may be suffering from this condition, it is important to seek proper evaluation from a spine specialist.

At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, our doctors will evaluate your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis following a physical examination, medical history, and any necessary imaging. An X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computerized tomography (CT scan) with myelogram may be recommended to determine the severity of the condition and to detect any nerve-related issues.

Imaging tests are used by New Jersey Spine Surgeons in order to look at your spine in detail to detect any conditions or debris present that may be causing a narrowing of your foraminal canal.

What does foraminal stenosis treatment involve?

Often times, our spine doctors at New Jersey Spine Surgeons will first advise conservative treatment methods for lumbar and cervical foraminal stenosis, as non-surgical treatment options may prove effective at improving symptoms. Foraminal stenosis treatment options depend on each patient’s needs and symptoms, and may involve:

  • Taking pain medications, either over-the-counter or prescription medications depending on the level of pain
  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Wearing a back brace
  • Getting a cortisone injection

If symptoms are severe, worsen over time, or don’t respond well to conservative therapies, foraminal stenosis surgery may be recommended in order to treat the condition. Some of the foraminal narrowing surgery options that may be recommended include:

Cervical Foraminal Stenosis Surgery Options

Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis Surgery Options

  • Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
  • Minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
  • Oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF)
  • Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF)
  • Axial fusion
  • Endoscopic foraminotomy, discectomy, and decompression

If you believe you may be suffering from lumbar or cervical foraminal stenosis, the first step is scheduling an evaluation with an experienced spine specialist. At New Jersey Spine Surgeons, we are dedicated to the preservation of motion and function through the latest minimally invasive spine procedures and treatments. Call (844)-7-NJSPINE today or fill out the form on this page to request a consultation at our Princeton and Staten Island offices.

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