Foraminal Stenosis Diagnosis and Treatments
Foraminal Stenosis Treatment Options
The Spine Institute of North America recommends trying conservative care before you move to surgical methods for any spine condition, depending on your diagnosis and the severity of your symptoms.
Non-Surgical Foraminal Stenosis Treatment
- Anti-inflammatory pain medication
- Muscle relaxers
- Narcotic painkillers (on rare occasions)
- Using alternative hot and cold compresses for 24 to 28 hours
- Stretching, massaging, and strengthening physical therapy exercises
- Steroid injections to reduce inflammation, which can also help pinpoint the exact location of damaged discs
Least Invasive Procedure For Foraminal Stenosis
If you’ve tried nonsurgical treatment methods and are still experiencing pain, then surgical intervention may be the right answers. Foraminal stenosis treatments traditionally involved a large incision in the back in order to do a laminectomy or facetectomy. This is a highly invasive surgical method that opened the patient up to high risks of infection, long recovery times, and post-operative pain. However, the Spine Institute of North American uses a treatment option that’s less invasive.
- Endoscopic Foraminalplasty: A 1/4 inch incision is made in the back, which gives the surgeon access to the narrowed foramen. The spinal surgeon uses an endoscope and a high-definition camera to view the spinal cord and enlarge the foramen. You’ll be under conscious sedation, meaning you’ll be awake and comfortable throughout the procedure. This reduces any risks associated with general anesthesia.
Many of our patients are surprised by how quickly they are able to recover after their procedure. Most patients are able to get out of bed after about an hour and are cleared to go home just a short while later. You may have some pain at the incision site, but some patients report little or no pain. Be sure that you clear any physical labor or resumption of your normal activities with your doctor first. You might need to take some mild pain medication for a little while as your body recovers. Your doctor will give you instructions for at-home after care, including exercises to help you retain your flexibility. If you experience a high level of pain or have any other concerns, you should contact our office right away.