Foraminal Stenosis: An Introduction

Notice the moderate foraminal stenosis at L4-5, due in part to the anterolisthesis of L4 on L5.

Foramenal stenosis is a chronic pain syndrome resulting from the narrowing of one or more neural foramina (the little holes through which the spinal nerve roots exit). This narrowing is often degenerative and may be due arthritis, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis or vertebral compression fractures. Foramenal stenosis is most common in the lumbar spine, but may occur anywhere. It is often multicentric.  The back pain of foramenal stenosis is usually radicular and dermatomal.  Treatment options include epidural steroid injections (In cases of unifocal disease, transforamenal injections may be particularly effective), physical therapy or surgery.

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