Foraminal stenosis surgery is used as a last resort for patients whose pain is very severe, and as a result, limits their abilities to work, exercise, do chores, or perform other daily activities. There are two main types of traditional surgeries for foraminal stenosis.
The first is a foraminotomy, and it’s used to relieve pressure on the nerves that cause a foraminal stenosis sufferer’s back pain. During this procedure, a surgeon uses a small tool to clean out tissue and other blockages that have narrowed vertebral passageways through which nerves pass when they travel out of the spine and toward the rest of the body. This passageway is called the foramen, and when it’s narrowed, it squeezes nerves, causing pain.
The second type of foraminal stenosis surgery works from outside the vertebra to relieve pressure on the nerve. This is done by removing a portion of bone on the top of the vertebra called the lamina to create more space inside. If only a small portion is removed, it’s called a laminotomy. If the whole thing is removed, it’s called a laminectomy.
Depending on the strength of a patient’s spine and how many vertebrae are operated on, these two procedures can also result in the need for a spinal fusion. This means adjacent vertebrae are permanently attached to each other for added support and to restrict movement. A spinal fusion comes with the possibility of some negative side effects, as do the other three procedures mentioned above. All are generally performed in a hospital under general anesthesia with large incisions, which can lead to risks like infection, excessive scar tissue, and long recovery times.
However, there is an endoscopic foraminal stenosis surgery method that reduces the likelihood of those risks. At Laser Spine Institute we use endoscopic techniques in foraminotomy, laminotomy and other spinal procedures with great success. Patients experience dramatic relief with minimal side effects on a regular basis.
If you’d like more information on endoscopic foraminal stenosis surgery at LSI, contact us today. We can review your MRI or CT scan for free.