A foraminotomy is a particular type of surgical procedure that may be used to treat foraminal spinal stenosis. If the foramen (window) becomes clogged with debris, nerve roots may become irritated resulting in inflammation.
The surgeon uses small tools to shave open the inside of the foramen increasing its size. Once the nerves have ample space, and compression has been eliminated, the inflammation and associated pain may diminish. The open windows allow the nerves exiting the spinal column to easily slip through the foramen.