A foraminotomy is a procedure that relieves pressure off of nerves in your spine by widening the vertebral opening that the nerves flow through. A minimally invasive foraminotomy requires only a small incision, making it safer and easier to recover from than an open surgery.
Why Would I Need a Minimally Invasive Foraminotomy?
Foramina are the passageways between spinal vertebrae that nerves travel through. When one of these openings constrict a bundle of spinal nerves, a patient may need a foraminotomy to widen the constricting passageways and relieve the pressure.
The narrowing of foramina is known as foraminal stenosis. Symptoms of stenosis include:
Numbness and tingling in the back and extremities
Sciatic pain from the buttocks through the leg down to the foot
What is the Procedure Like?
Unlike open surgery, minimally invasive foraminotomies require only a small incision. The steps of the procedure:
The patient lies face down
A small incision is made over the vertebrae
Surgical microscopes provide vision
Dilators are inserted to gently move muscles and nerves aside
A portion of the vertebrae is removed to expose the nerve root
The foraminal opening is expanded by shaving some bone
The muscles and tissue are put in place and the incision is closed
Every case is different, though patients are typically able to leave the hospital the day after the procedure. It will take a few weeks to fully recover and return to driving and light work. Consult your doctor for professional advice on your recovery.
Risks and Complications
Minimally invasive surgeries are typically significantly less risky than open surgeries. However, all spinal procedures include risk of bleeding, infection, nerve damage, blood clots and other risks associated with anesthesia.
To learn more about minimally invasive foraminotomies or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.
The Longstreet Clinic, P.C., incorporated in 1995, is a fully-integrated multi-specialty medical group owned and managed by physicians. The group has grown to over 750 employess including 200 physicians and advanced practice providers. We treat patients in the following specialties: internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, adult and pediatric inpatient medicine, general surgery, oncology, hematology, physiatry, orthopaedics, sports medicine, neonatology, perinatology, allergy and immunology, neurology, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, colorectal surgery, bariatric surgery and medical weight loss. The Longstreet Clinic is repeatedly ranked by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the largest physician group practice in Georgia, and one of the largest independent group practices. With its main campus located in Gainesville, TLC providers also see patients at offices in Baldwin, Buford, Braselton, Cleveland, Dahlonega, Demorest, Oakwood, and Toccoa. The Longstreet Clinic, P.C. Doctors you know. Care you trust. Internet
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