Foraminal Stenosis Definition

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.