Procedure Description

A minimally invasive foraminotomy is a procedure that’s typically done in conjunction with various spinal procedures that may embody laminotomy, discectomy, and presumptively various decompressive procedures. In understanding spinal anatomy and also the way it would relate to a foraminotomy being performed, it’s best to think about the spine having a pair of major canals – the spinal canal and conjointly the foraminal canals. The spinal cord runs vertically down the spinal canal from the brain stem all the way right down to the first few levels of the lumbar spine. along the way, in between each vertebral section, there are natural lateral openings (medically referred to as foramen) that allow nerve roots to branch out to the upper, middle and lower extremities of the body. If compression exists within the foraminal canals and that compression causes irritation and inflammation o the exiting nerve root, patients might experience radicular symptoms. What we’ve got a tendency to mean when we discuss radicular symptoms is any symptom that’s felt among the upper and lower extremities (hands, arms, shoulders, legs, feet, etc) that are being caused by compression that exists within the foraminal and/or spinal canals. The foraminal canals can become slender for a range of varied reasons. Patients usually present with significant degenerative discs and thereby lose disc height. once disc height is lost usually times the foraminal canals can become slender. The patient can even have a building or herniated disc which could protrude into the foraminal canal. Bone spurs can also form and obtrude upon the nerve roots. generally, the patient will have multiple conditions that all add up to severe foraminal stenosis ( stenosis is simply a medical term for narrowing). The procedure itself aims to target all of the conditions that contribute to the narrowing of the foraminal canals. resection of an overgrown and thickened ligament, removal of bone spurs, and removal of sentimental tissues (such as bulging or herniated discs) may be performed throughout the foraminotomy. Once the conditions that were inflicting the irritation, inflammation, and compression of the nerve root have been remedied through surgery the patient should experience relief quickly following surgery.

When To Consider:

As with several surgical procedures – a foraminotomy ought to solely be thought of when conservative choices have been failing.

You may be a candidate for a foraminotomy if you have the subsequent circumstance:

1. you have been diagnosed with conditions like spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and bulging or herniated discs

2. you’ve got tried alternative conservative measures like physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and sadly your symptoms have persisted

3. you’ve got sensations of pins and needles and/or have weakness or atrophy in your extremities

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Recovery from foraminotomy

Because foraminotomy will generally be performed through minimally invasive approaches the recovery time is usually much less than that of an open spinal procedure. Following foraminotomy, most patients are able to return to lightweight work within a couple of days to a couple of weeks. although post-operative pain in most cases is minimal thanks to the nature of minimally invasive surgery it’s always vital for a patient to pay close attention to their specific post-operative directions per their doctor’s recommendations.

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