Can Foraminal Stenosis be Caused by an Injury?
Foraminal stenosis, or the tightening or narrowing of the spaces between your spine bones, can be caused by an injury. Whether this injury was from a slip, trip or fall or a car accident, foraminal stenosis can be debilitating.
If you or someone you love are suffering from this painful condition because of someone else’s negligence, you can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The experienced and reputable attorneys at Ellis Injury Law have a long history of successfully representing foraminal stenosis victims across Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. We will work tirelessly to help you receive the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.
What is foraminal stenosis?
The spine is built with small openings between the spinal bones, called the foramen. Spinal nerves pass through these foramen to extend throughout your body, to your legs, feet, arms, hands, and beyond.
Foramen stenosis is when the foramen tighten or narrow. As the foramen narrows, they can squeeze and pinch the nerves that pass through them. This pinching often results in an array of symptoms like numbness, weakness, and pain in the affected limbs.
What causes foraminal stenosis?
Foraminal stenosis is most commonly associated with age, as arthritis and the normal wear and tear of daily life can narrow the foramen.
However, foraminal stenosis can also be caused by a traumatic injury such as a car accident, slip, trip, or fall.
Take a fall, for example. If you slip and fall onto your back, you can bulge or herniate one of your spinal disks. This bulging can press on the foramen, causing them to press together and pinch the nerve root. Another example is a car accident. If you injure your spinal bones in a car accident you may form an extra bone growth, called a bone spur. This spur can press on your foramen and lead to foraminal stenosis.
Foraminal stenosis symptoms
The symptoms of foraminal stenosis depend on which part of the spine is injured.
- Cervical Stenosis – This form of foraminal stenosis is found in the neck and is most commonly associated with burning or sharp pain that radiates down the shoulder and into the arm, as well as numbness or weakness in the arm and hand.
- Thoracic stenosis – Thoracic stenosis is when the upper part of the back is injured. It can lead to numbness and pain in the back and front of the body.
- Lumbar Stenosis – The most common kind of foraminal stenosis, lumbar stenosis is an injury to the lower back that can cause weakness, pain, numbness, and tingling in the buttocks, leg, and foot.
There are different diagnostic grades of foraminal stenosis that can help doctors properly treat the condition. The grades are:
- Grade 0 – no foraminal stenosis
- Grade 1 – Mild with no changes to the nerve
- Grade 2- Moderate with no changes to the nerve
- Grade 3 – Severe with physical nerve changes
Treating foraminal stenosis
Luckily, in most cases, foraminal stenosis can be treated by activity modification, stretching, and mild pain medication.
Some cases do require physical therapy to improve range of motion, stabilize the spine, and re-open the foramen to relieve the pinched nerves. Other cases may require the use of an orthotic such as a cervical collar or neck brace to allow the back muscles to rest and heal.
If more conservative treatments don’t alleviate the condition, surgery may be required. The exact kind of surgery depends on the stenosis location and the cause. For example, if the stenosis was caused by a herniated disc from a fall, the surgery would be to remove the injured disk. A foraminotomy is another surgical option. This procedure enlarges the foramen by removing obstructions, like bone spurs that may have developed from an injury.
You don’t have to suffer in silence
The treatments for foraminal stenosis can be painful, long, and expensive. If your foraminal stenosis was caused by an accident that was because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, treatment costs, lost work, and general pain and suffering.
The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Injury Law have the experience and tenacity to represent you in your foraminal stenosis case. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.