Lumbar Nerve Root Decompression for Foraminal Stenosis
Following your recent MRI scan and consultation with your spinal surgeon, you have been diagnosed as having a narrowing of your lumbar spinal nerve root canal, known as foraminal stenosis, resulting in nerve root compression and leg pain (sciatica).
The normal spinal column has a central canal (or passage) through which the spinal cord passes down. The spinal cord stops at the top of the lumbar spine (lower back) and below that point tiny nerve rootlets splay out like a horse’s tail forming the cauda equina, all of which are protected by a tough outer membrane, or covering, called the dura mater.
To each side of the canal, spinal nerve roots branch out at every level through a bony passage (foramen).
The intervertebral disc is a structure between the vertebrae (bones of the spine), which acts as both a spacer and a shock absorber. The disc is composed of two parts: a soft gel-like middle (nucleus pulposus) surrounded by a tougher fibrous wall (annulus fibrosus).