August 24, 2015 by: Luis Manuel Tumialan MD
​​​​​​​Spine Surgery


At our practice, a full suite of minimally invasive spine surgery procedures allows us to resolve a variety of painful and often complex issues using the most conservative methods available. This approach allows our patients to enjoy such benefits as improved safety, reduced trauma to healthy tissues, and dramatically shorter and more comfortable healing times. Among the many surgical procedures available at our practice in Phoenix, minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy is often ideal for patients who are struggling with chronic pain and stiffness in the neck due to a pinched nerve. Other symptoms that can be resolved through this minimally invasive surgery include shoulder, arm, hand, and finger pain, as well as tingling, numbness, and weakness in the arm and hand. Are you a good candidate for minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy? The only way to know for certain is to meet with one of our experienced surgeons at our state-of-the-art facility at your earliest convenience. It would be our pleasure to help you find relief from your pain and set you back on the path toward a full, healthy, happy life.
What is minimally invasive posterior cervical foraminotomy?
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.

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If you are struggling with pain, weakness, loss of function, or other symptoms of spinal complications, contact Dr. Tumialán's office today.

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