Guide to Understanding Foraminal Stenosis
Foraminal stenosis is a condition that occurs when the foramen, or small openings in the spine, become narrowed. This can put pressure on the nerves that pass through the foramen, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the limbs. Foraminal stenosis is most commonly caused by degenerative changes in the spine, such as the gradual wear and tear that occurs with aging or the development of bone spurs.
If you are experiencing symptoms of foraminal stenosis, it is important to seek medical attention from a trained professional. As Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, we have the expertise and experience to diagnose and effectively treat foraminal stenosis accurately. We are here to help you get back to living your best life.
What Are the Causes of Foraminal Stenosis?
Foraminal stenosis is a condition that can affect your daily life, so it’s important to get the treatment you may need to help reduce any pain or inflammation you may be experiencing. There are several potential causes of foraminal stenosis, including:
- Herniated discs
- Bone spurs
- Genetic conditions
If you are experiencing pain, numbness, weakness, or slowed reflexes in your arms or legs, it is important to speak with a medical professional. They can help to determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options. Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you are concerned about your symptoms, as early treatment can often help to manage and alleviate the effects of foraminal stenosis.
Symptoms of Foraminal Stenosis
The most common symptoms of this condition are numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area. Foraminal stenosis can occur in any region of the spine, and the symptoms will depend on the location of the stenosis. For example, foraminal stenosis in the neck (cervical stenosis) may cause symptoms in the arms, shoulder, and hands. In contrast, stenosis in the lower back (lumbar stenosis) may cause symptoms in the lower extremities.
If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs, it is important to speak with a medical professional to determine the cause of your symptoms. They will be able to work with you to create a treatment plan to help mitigate or reduce any symptoms you are experiencing.
Who Is Commonly Diagnosed With Foraminal Stenosis?
Foraminal stenosis is a condition that can affect people of all ages, although it is more common in older individuals. This is because it is often caused by degenerative changes in the spine, which tend to occur over time due to the natural wear and tear of the body. However, foraminal stenosis can also be caused by other factors, such as injury or a congenital condition. Anyone who has sustained a spinal injury or been born with abnormalities in the spine may be at an increased risk of developing foraminal stenosis.
Diagnosing Foraminal Stenosis: What to Expect
Foraminal stenosis can be diagnosed through a combination of a physical examination, a review of the patient’s medical history, and imaging tests. Here are some specific methods that may be used to diagnose foraminal stenosis:
- Physical examination: During the physical examination, the healthcare provider will check for signs of nerve damage and assess the patient’s range of motion and muscle strength. They may also ask the patient to perform certain movements or tests to help identify the source of the symptoms.
- Medical history review: The healthcare provider will review the patient’s medical history, including any previous injuries or surgeries, to better understand the potential causes of foraminal stenosis.
- Imaging tests: X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can produce detailed images of the spine, allowing the healthcare provider to see any narrowing of the foramen or other abnormalities that may be causing the symptoms.
- Electromyogram (EMG) or nerve conduction study: These tests can be used to test the function of the nerves and muscles and confirm a diagnosis of foraminal stenosis.
Other methods that may be used to diagnose foraminal stenosis include CT-myelography (CT-M), which combines a CT scan with a dye injection to create detailed images of the spinal cord and nerves, as well as a discography, which involves injecting a dye into the intervertebral discs to identify any abnormalities that may be causing the symptoms.
Finding the Right Treatment for Foraminal Stenosis at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery
The first step in treating foraminal stenosis is to speak with a medical professional and seek their expert opinion. The trained medical specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery can meet with you and help diagnose any issues you may be having with your neck or back. We will help you explore all conservative treatment options before considering surgery.
Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery offers a wide range of treatment options for foraminal stenosis. Our doctors are experienced and well-trained in treating this condition. If you are seeking a solution to your foraminal stenosis, we encourage you to call us at (855) 853-6542 or to fill out our contact form.