Foraminotomy surgery — can it help relieve your neck and back pain?

Foraminotomy surgery may become an option for patients experiencing severe and debilitating symptoms caused by nerve root compression in the neural foramina (the tiny spaces in between vertebrae where nerve roots are housed). Before exploring how surgery could help relieve your neck and back pain, it is helpful to briefly review the relationship between the vertebrae, the spinal cord and nerve roots through the information provided in the following article.

The vertebrae and spinal cord

The spine consists of 33 individual bones called vertebrae. A few vertebrae are fused together, forming the sacrum and the coccyx (tailbone). The spinal cord, which begins at the base of the brain, travels through central openings in the stacked vertebrae down into the lower back. Along the length of the spine, lateral passageways provide openings for the spinal cords nerve roots to travel through before branching off and impacting the rest of the body.

A spinal condition such as a bone spur, bulging or herniated disc or a calcified ligament can create a blockage in a foramen and cause the associated nerve root to be compressed. A pinched nerve root can lead to symptoms of pain, numbness, weakness and tingling that radiate into the extremities. A foraminotomy is a type of surgery that opens up a blocked foramen and releases a nerve root from painful compression.

Relieving nerve root compression

Typically, a doctor will suggest a regimen of conservative treatments such as pain medication, chiropractic care and physical therapy before a foraminotomy surgery becomes an option. A majority of conservative treatments aim to relieve the symptoms of nerve compression, while a foraminotomy aims to ease nerve pain by removing bone and other tissue to enlarge the narrowed foramen of the affected nerve root. A foraminotomy can be performed as minimally invasive, requiring only a small muscle-sparing incision and the removal of only a portion of the spine directly causing nerve compression.
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Laser Spine Institute’s foraminotomy surgery

As a leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute’s board-certified surgeons+ have performed foraminotomy surgery on more than 75,000 patients to help relieve their chronic neck and back pain. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery,^ which requires large incisions and a lengthy recovery period. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the advantages of our outpatient surgery.

Through a free MRI review,* we can evaluate your condition to determine if you are a potential candidate for a minimally invasive foraminotomy surgery. Reach out to our dedicated team today so we can help you move to the next step on your journey to wellness.