What Surgical Options Are There for Foraminal Stenosis?
To determine the most appropriate course of treatment for conditions such as foraminal stenosis, it is crucial to accurately and thoroughly diagnose the condition. The diagnostic process may include a medical history review, physical examination, and various diagnostic tests. These all help inform your medical professional of any treatment options, such as various surgical procedures.
If other treatment methods have not relieved the pain caused by foraminal stenosis, surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. Our specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery will only consider surgery if the symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, or pain in the limbs, suggest severe or worsening nerve or spinal cord compression.
Are There Non-Surgical Foraminal Stenosis Treatments?
Before attempting surgical options, your medical provider may recommend non-surgical treatments first. Non-surgical treatment options for foraminal stenosis aim to alleviate symptoms and may include:
- Pain medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or prescription pain medication may be used to manage pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy: Exercises and stretches may be recommended to improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles that support the spine.
- Epidural injections: Corticosteroids or other medications may be injected into the epidural space, the area surrounding the spinal cord, to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
It is important to note that non-surgical treatment options may not be sufficient for all cases of foraminal stenosis, and surgery may be necessary to address the condition. Surgery may also be necessary if instability in the spine, such as a misplaced vertebrae or disc, is causing spinal stenosis and needs to be stabilized to prevent further damage.
What Are the Surgical Treatment Options for Foraminal Stenosis?
If non-surgical options are not helping alleviate symptoms, it may be time to explore surgery. These options can include:
An endoscopic discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat herniated discs in the spine. It is performed using an endoscope, a thin tube with a light and camera, and involves making a small incision in the skin and inserting the endoscope through the muscle and into the spinal canal. The surgeon removes the herniated disc material and relieves the pressure on the spinal nerve.
Endoscopic discectomy has several potential benefits compared to traditional open surgery, including a shorter recovery time, less scarring, and less pain. It is often used as an alternative to traditional surgery for people with herniated discs experiencing leg pain, numbness, and weakness.
A percutaneous discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves using a needle to remove herniated disc material through a small incision. It is performed with a local anesthetic and mild sedation and takes about 30 minutes. The patient can leave the recovery room with a small bandage over the needle insertion site.
Interlaminar spacers are typically used with other procedures, such as decompression surgery or fusion surgery, to stabilize the spine and relieve pain. In the case of foraminal stenosis, an interlaminar spacer may be used to widen the foramen, the small opening in the spine through which the spinal nerve passes, and relieve pressure on the nerve. The procedure is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and involves using a local anesthetic and sedation.
An endoscopic foraminotomy involves using an endoscope to visualize the spine and remove any material causing the foramen to narrow. Endoscopic foraminotomies have several potential benefits compared to traditional open surgery, including a shorter recovery time, less scarring, and less pain. It is often used as an alternative to traditional open surgery for people with foraminal stenosis who are experiencing leg pain, numbness, and weakness.
Microdiscectomy involves making a small incision in the skin and using specialized instruments to remove the herniated disc material and relieve the pressure on the spinal nerve. It also offers a shorter recovery time, less scarring, and less pain than other surgeries.
TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion)
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is a surgical procedure used to treat lower spine conditions. The chances of experiencing significant benefits from TLIF surgery can vary based on several factors. Your surgeon can give you an idea of the likelihood of success in your specific case.
Find Support and Expert Care with Our Florida Spine Surgeons
Symptoms of foraminal stenosis include numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area, which may extend into the arms or legs, depending on the location of the stenosis. As the condition progresses, symptoms may become more severe and may eventually result in muscle weakness and loss of sensation, resulting in the need for surgery to help correct the problem.
If you are experiencing back and lower body pain, it is important to meet with one of our specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery for an assessment. Early diagnosis and treatment can help alleviate symptoms and improve spinal health. Reach out to us by filling out our contact form or by calling us at (855) 853-6542.