Endoscopic Lumbar Foraminotomy
Endoscopic Foraminotomy is a minimally invasive spinal procedure that decompresses the spinal canal by removing objects restricting the intervertebral foramina.
Bone spurs, herniated disc fragments, excessive ligament growth, brain and spine tumors, or foraminal stenosis close or narrow the opening between vertebrae of the spine. This restricts the movement of the spinal nerve and puts pressure on the nerve, which causes radiating leg and neck pain.
A Foraminotomy frees the compressed nerve to relieve pressure and then reopens the foramina to create room for the nerve root.
Who Needs the Endoscopic Lumbar Foraminotomy?
You are eligible for an Endoscopic Lumbar Foraminotomy if:
- The foramina (opening between two vertebrae in the spinal column) in your spine are narrowed or closed because of bone spurs, disc fragments, excessive ligaments, or scar tissues.
- Conservative treatments like physical therapy, pain medication, and steroid injections have failed to relieve symptoms.
- Symptoms are progressively getting worse.
- Your spine surgeon and other spine specialists have recommended Endoscopic Lumbar Foraminotomy.
How is Endoscopic Lumbar Foraminotomy Performed?
- An Endoscopic Lumbar Foraminotomy is commonly performed under general anesthesia.
- The Spine surgeon makes small incisions in the posterior lateral side of the patient to insert a tube through which the spine can be visualized.
- The surgeon removes the obstructions in front of the foramina to reopen it and relieves pressure from the compressed nerve root.
- The surgeon removes the instruments and the tools and stitches the incision with 1-3 sutures.
- The patient can leave the hospital on the day of the surgery. Complete recovery takes 4-6 weeks.
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What Is the Difference Between Foraminotomy and Laminectomy?
- “Foraminotomy” is a surgery that widens the opening of the spine from where nerve roots leave the spinal canal.
- “Laminectomy” is a surgery to remove the lamina, which is part of the bone that makes up a vertebra.
- These procedures take the pressure off the spinal nerves and allow them to move more easily.
How Long Is Recovery From Foraminotomy?
- After the surgery, you will be monitored overnight.
- You will be discharged within a day or two after the surgery.
- You may expect to recover in a period of six to twelve weeks.
How Successful Is a Foraminotomy?
- The success rate of Foraminotomy is as high as 72 percent to 83 percent.
- Foraminotomy is considered the gold standard procedure for the surgical treatment of lateral stenosis or lumbar foraminal.