Foraminal Stenosis is the narrowing of the cervical disc space caused by enlargement of a joint (the uncinate process) in the spinal canal. The majority of symptoms with this type of cervical spinal stenosis are usually caused by one nerve root on one side.
Typically, the condition is characterized by non-continuous pain developing slowly over many years and is related to an activity (such as bicycle riding) or position (such as holding the neck in an extended position). Although more common in the neck, it can also occur in the lumbar spine.
Confirmation is by an MRI or CT scan with myelogram. Unlike many other back or neck conditions, most nonsurgical treatments (such as pain medication) are unlikely to be of much benefit. Traction may provide some relief. Many patients choose activity modification or back surgery.
Cervical stenosis refers to when the spinal cord in the neck is compressed as a result of degenerative changes that occur with aging. In many cases, spinal stenosis of the cervical spine is asymptomatic, meaning that the condition is present but there are no noticeable symptoms, thus resulting in the patient simply being observed. In other situations, cervical spinal stenosis may produce symptoms like intermittent, shooting pains in the arms and legs, an inability to walk at a brisk pace, deterioration in fine motor skills, referred arm pain and/or a heavy feeling in the legs. When progressive spinal cord dysfunction is present (described as cervical stenosis with myelopathy), a surgical opinion is typically warranted.
If you'd like to discuss this condition with one of our doctors, we would be more than happy to contact you. You don't need a primary care physician referral for us to see you.
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