Spinal Decompression: Laminectomy & Foraminotomy

Estimates show that around 15% to 20% of adults experience back pain during one year. Since spine issues can occur due to numerous issues, early diagnosis is key to efficient pain relief. Two spinal surgery procedures often used to help ease back-related pain conditions are laminectomy and foraminotomy. Laminectomy is typically performed to help ease pressure on your nerve roots and spinal cord, whereas surgeons will perform a foraminotomy to enlarge the spinal opening near the spinal canal where the nerve roots run through.
The best way to prevent spinal cord injuries or other serious consequences that can result in permanent disability and protect your back is to consult with an experienced spinal specialist. Our team at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can evaluate your medical records to determine the best course of treatment, and our Concierge Team can help streamline your treatment appointments to reduce stress.

What is Spinal Decompression?

This surgery is often performed to alleviate certain spine conditions, like spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is frequently caused by changes related to age, such as arthritis, bone spurs, bulging discs, thickened ligaments, and enlarged joints. Surgeons can perform spinal decompression anywhere along your spine. Spinal decompression works to create space between your vertebrae, which helps create more room for any affected discs. 

During this procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in your posterior muscles. You have a lamina bone that forms the back of your spinal canal and creates a roof over your spinal cord. When the surgeon removes the thickened ligament and lamina, it provides more space for your nerves and enables them to remove bone spurs. Depending on how severe the stenosis is, it may involve a single vertebra or more. 

When Are Laminectomy and Foraminotomy Procedures Required?

Prior to undergoing a procedure, the spinal surgeon might have already prescribed you various non-surgical treatment options, like physical therapy or spinal injections. If you haven’t noticed much relief from your symptoms with more conservative approaches, then it’s time to think about either a spinal decompression laminectomy or foraminotomy procedure.

Spinal stenosis is the most common reason why individuals undergo this procedure. Your foramina or spinal canal can become stenotic over time when the ligaments between them become thick and your facet joints overgrow and become arthritic. Individuals may also be born with small spinal canals, referred to as congenital spinal stenosis, which may also necessitate these procedures.   

An experienced spine surgeon may employ laminectomy and foraminotomy procedures to treat various other spinal conditions, such as:

  • Bone spurs on the edges of your joints
  • Herniated discs 
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Sciatica
  • Paget’s disease
  • Spinal cysts or tumors
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Spinal fractures
  • Radiculopathy
  • Degenerative disc disease

The laminectomy and foraminotomy procedures can help reduce or eliminate pain and other related symptoms, helping you to regain your previous degree of mobility.

How a Laminectomy and Foraminotomy Work

Both foraminotomy and laminectomy fall under the umbrella of spinal decompression surgery. The surgeon will remove the lamina during the laminectomy surgery to release the pressure being added to your spinal cord nerves. They’ll then work on the underlying spinal issue. 

The foraminotomy procedure involves your neuroforamen area. This area is created between your upper and lower vertebra on either side. You have spine nerves that pass through this neuroforamen tunnel that exits your spinal cord to get to other body parts. The surgeon will remove any obstruction that is causing any narrowing of this tunnel to allow your spine nerves to pass with no issues.

Call the Reliable Spinal Surgeons at NJ Spine & Orthopedic Today to Learn About Laminectomy and Foraminotomy

At the first sign of back pain, it’s important that you contact the experienced spine and back surgeons at NJ Spine & Orthopedic to keep your back pain from becoming a debilitating and chronic ailment. You may be a good candidate for the minimally invasive laminectomy and foraminotomy procedure which could potentially save you years of living in pain. 

Call NJ Spine & Orthopedic today at (866) 553-0612 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment with one of our highly skilled spine and back surgeons.

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