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Understanding the problem

Foraminal stenosis, or narrowing, occurs when the open passageways between the spinal vertebrae (intervertebral foramina) are encroached upon by displaced bone or soft tissue, often due to degenerative changes in the spinal anatomy. Spinal nerve roots must travel through these small, hollow archways as they branch away from the spinal cord to reach other areas of the body. If a spinal foramen is obstructed, a sensitive nerve root can become compressed. The resulting pressure on the nerve root can cause it to send faulty signals along its pathway in the form of pain, numbness, tingling or weakness.

Understanding who suffers

Most often, foraminal stenosis results from spinal degeneration that occurs along with the natural aging process. The gradual deterioration of the spinal vertebrae and intervertebral discs can lead to a number of degenerative spine conditions such as bone spurs, a herniated or bulging disc, arthritis, ligament thickening and facet joint enlargement. Additionally, spinal injuries that result from trauma, repetitive movement or carrying excess body weight can hasten this process or cause spontaneous degeneration. The resulting structural changes in the spine can further limit the space within a foramen, causing it to become narrower, so that there is less space available for exiting nerve roots.

Potential Signs and Symptoms

If foraminal stenosis creates pressure on the spinal cord or a spinal nerve root, a variety of symptoms can develop, including pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and spasms. The nature and location of the symptoms vary based on the site of the affected foramen. More specifically, foraminal stenosis in the cervical region, or neck, may cause symptoms to appear in the head, neck, arms and shoulders. Similarly, foraminal stenosis in the thoracic region, or middle back, may produce symptoms around the ribs, chest or stomach, while stenosis in the lumbar area, or lower back, may result in symptoms arising in the buttocks, legs and feet. Symptoms vary on a case-to-case basis; however, pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness are the most common indicators of foraminal stenosis.

The most usual cause of traveling pain in the lower body is the compression of the sciatic nerve. This leads to a set of symptoms known as sciatica (pain, tingling, muscle weakness and numbness that radiates along the sciatic nerve that runs down the buttocks, along the back of the thighs and calves and into the feet).

Reputable and Prestigious Surgeons

AIMIS' skilled team of neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and ancillary professionals has one of the leading experiences in the world for minimally invasive spine surgery. Our full team are consulted with each case to find the most suitable experienced doctor for the patient’s exact issue, to ensure the maximum potential outcome of treatment

Getting More Information Before Moving Forward
You may have questions like:
  • Can I get more information before I commit to this?
  • Can I get a second opinion from you before I commit to this?
  • How can I find out the cost before I have any obligation?
What AIMIS Can do:

AIMIS will provide a full review, diagnosis and potential surgical options for your condition, after receiving the relevant examinations and information from you. They will also provide an estimate for your surgical procedure before you decide. AIMIS’s mission is to the provision of “true” healthcare for those who require it. It provides world leading surgeons using state of the art procedures to optimize potential surgical outcomes, whilst taking care of all arrangements so as to allow concentration on recovery.


AIMIS provide competitive prices for state of the art procedures. We also work with a large range of Insurance companies where your policy allows you to have surgery abroad.

Further information on the problem:

Types of foraminal stenosis include:

  • Foraminal cervical stenosis is a condition in which the foramina, or small canals between pairs of vertebrae, become narrowed in the cervical region (upper) of the spine.
  • Lumbar stenosis is another term for spinal stenosis of the lower back. Spinal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition that describes the narrowing of the spinal canal.
  • Thoracic stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal in the thoracic spine, located in the middle of the back. The spinal canal is the pathway that holds the spinal cord and the central nervous system, allowing the nerve roots to send signals between the spine and the brain.
  • Neural stenosis, also referred to as neural foraminal stenosis, is the narrowing of the foraminal canal — the openings through which the nerves pass from the spinal cord to the rest of the body.
  • Degenerative foraminal stenosis is a type of spine deterioration that is a common result of aging. Specifically, foraminal stenosis involves the narrowing of one or both of the canals around the vertebrae through which nerve roots are given space to branch off the spinal cord. As the foraminal canals become smaller, the resulting compression of spinal nerves is often a source of pain and other debilitating symptoms.
Further Information on Increased Risk Groups

When the foramina in the spinal column narrow, there is a danger that the residing spinal nerves will become painfully compressed. A variety of factors increase the risk of developing foraminal stenosis and neural compression, including:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Genetics
  • Spinal conditions like bulging discs, herniated discs, arthritis, and bone spurs

While some foraminal stenosis risk factors cannot be avoided, some lifestyle changes can support a healthy spine in addition to promoting overall well-being, including:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Always practice good posture
Why AIMIS for this Surgery

AIMIS strives for excellence in delivering the best surgical outcomes, via the extensive expertise of its prestige surgeons, its technologies, its highly trained staff and superior facilities to provide an individualized and compassionate experience in a comfortable environment. All patients are treated with the individual care they deserve in an effort to provide the best chance of successful treatment.

Other Services Provided by AIMIS

In addition to its Innovative Healthcare, AIMIS provides seamless service along the way. From the start of your journey you'll know the best flights to take, where you'll be staying, what paperwork you will need. You will have a personal assistant assigned; from your pick up at the airport, to your accommodation, continuous assistance at your pre-consultation, through surgery and in your postsurgical care. Our Patients have said that they feel they have become "part of our family" and some even asked to stay a little longer! AIMIS is here to assist you in an all you requirements, allowing you to focus on your health and recovery.