To relieve pressure on a spinal nerve, your doctor may recommend undergoing a foraminotomy. This spinal surgery addresses the narrowing of the neuroforamina, the small exit ways nerves pass through. Often, pain and discomfort begin as our spines age or when we suffer an injury affecting these areas in our vertebrae. As these tiny passages narrow, further pressure occurs on the spinal nerves, but this procedure can relieve it by removing excess material in the neuroforamina.
Spinal stenosis is the primary condition that a foraminotomy procedure treats because this health issue involves the narrowing of the neuroforaminal passages around spinal nerves. While stenosis of the spine occurs anywhere in the back or neck, surgery can help relieve the painful symptoms.
It’s important to know that spinal stenosis can be caused by several different types of conditions, including:
A foraminotomy procedure is a form of decompression since it creates additional space in the spinal canal. This widening of neuroforamina passageways will help provide needed relief of pressure on your spinal nerves and help to reduce symptomatic pain, inflammation, and discomfort.
During this treatment process, a surgeon will make an incision to reach the affected area of your spine. Once in, you can expect that removal of some bone, disc, and other surrounding tissue will be necessary to clear any obstructions in and around these important spinal canal passageways. Doing this will immediately relieve built-up pressure and improve surrounding inflammation because of your condition.
At NJ Spine, our spine neurosurgeons may be able to perform this procedure using minimally invasive techniques. Patients who are good candidates for a minimal surgical approach will benefit from some of the following:
If your spinal stenosis has compromised the stability of your spine, your doctor may recommend an additional procedure like a spinal fusion or artificial disc replacement. These procedures, in conjunction with the foraminotomy, can restabilize your back and greatly improve your recovery for the long-term.
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Foraminotomy surgery is usually an option for treating spinal stenosis when conservative treatments and procedures are not providing effective relief for pain associated with the condition.
Common conditions that may cause a patient to undergo a foraminotomy typically experience some of the below symptoms and spinal issues:
NJ Spine clinic will also ensure that candidates for foraminotomy have a diagnosis of spinal stenosis before performing this type of decompression surgical procedure. The majority of patients who undergo this surgery to treat their stenosis symptoms experience relief of many of the listed symptoms and conditions above. Typically, muscle weakness and numbness may take longer to recover, though radiating pain and motor function could improve more rapidly.
Typically, foraminotomy procedures are minimally invasive, which could mean a shorter hospital stay for patients. Your doctor will assess your progress during surgery and in recovery to make a final determination if you will go home for outpatient care. Once released, you can expect to have restrictions from your doctor on physical activity for the first four to six weeks after surgery. Though, many patients may get the okay from their doctor to return to work and other activities a few weeks afterward.
Recovery pain is easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and is usually moderate, only lasting a week or two post-op. Your surgeon will also follow up on your recovery and ensure you are healing normally.
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At NJ Spine & Orthopedics, we only entrust state-of-the-art equipment and procedures in our aim to help our patients recover faster and live a pain-free life. Our board-certified surgeons and medical experts are successful leaders in the healthcare industry and believe that everyone deserves access to quality care.
Regain your mobility and put an end to chronic pain and inflammation. If conservative treatment methods are not alleviating your spinal stenosis symptoms, it may be time to speak with your physician about foraminotomy. Try our free Treatment Finder tool, or call (866) 272-9271 or contact us online to begin seeking the best solution to your pain.
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Effective pain relief; less scarring— a postage stamp-sized incision (less than an inch in length) is often all that it takes to eliminate your pain.
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