WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MINIMALLY INVASIVE POSTERIOR CERVICAL FORAMINOTOMY
August 24, 2015 by: Luis Manuel Tumialan MD
A posterior cervical foraminotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure during which the space through which the nerve roots exit from the spinal cord is enlarged, and pieces of spinal disc that are pressing against the nerve and thereby causing pain are removed. The procedure is performed through tiny incisions in the back of the neck, as opposed to traditional spinal surgery, which would require larger incisions and the stripping away of muscles from the spine.
The space through which the nerve roots exit the spinal cord is called the neural foramen. Our surgeons first identify the source of the narrowing of the neural foramen, which could be a herniated disc, bone spurs, or thickened ligaments. This material is surgically removed in order to relieve pressure on the nerve root and create space for the nerve to sit properly, without being pinched. In many cases, removal of the entire disc is not necessary.
The minimally invasive nature of the procedure is made possible due to the use of extremely small instruments and a surgical microscope that projects real-time images on a monitor while our surgeons are operating. This allows our surgeons to target the problematic areas with minimal removal of bone, little damage to healthy adjacent tissues, and a dramatically lower risk of surgical complications compared to traditional forms of spinal surgery.
In most cases, minimally invasive cervical foraminotomy is able to be performed on an outpatient basis, and patients are not required to wear neck braces after the procedure. While risks such as infection and nerve damage are associated with any surgery, they are extremely low with minimally invasive cervical foraminotomy, especially when performed by experienced surgeons with a history of successful results.
Learn More about Minimally Invasive Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy
To learn more about minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our practice today.
If you are struggling with pain, weakness, loss of function, or other symptoms of spinal complications, contact Dr. Tumialán's office today.