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Brain & Spine Disorders

Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis

Lumbar foraminal stenosis is a form of spinal stenosis that is confined to the neural foramina.  It is similar to spinal stenosis but is singled out because it primarily affects one or more vertebral foramen. In a normal spine nerve roots have enough room to slip through the foramen. However, age and disease may affect the foramen by clogging the openings with debris that trap and compress nerves.

The symptoms of foraminal stenosis are similar to that of lumbar radiculopathy and include numbness, weakness, and sensations of burning, tingling, and pins and needles in the affected lower extremity. Not every stenosis is critical.  However, if symptoms are ignored, nerves may die that may cause a loss of function. Functional loss may involve the ability to feel (sensory) and move (motor).

If nonsurgical treatments are unsuccessful in relieving the patient's symptoms, surgery may become an option. The most common procedure to treat foraminal stenosis is called a foraminotomy.

Low Back Pain (Overview)

Low Back Pain & Disorders (Lumbar Spine)

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