Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy
A cervical foraminotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to widen the area where nerve roots exit the spinal cord and relieve any pressure on the nerves caused by an intervertebral disc, a condition known as disc protrusions. The nerves are very sensitive structures that can cause severe pain, muscle weakness and other unwanted symptoms if affected.
During the foraminotomy procedure, small disc fragments are removed in order to relieve pressure on nearby nerve roots. Because most of the disc is left in place, fusion is not needed during this procedure and patients will be able to function properly after surgery. The incision is made in the back of the neck in order to access the spine and perform this procedure. Compared to other procedures that correct abnormalities of the discs, foraminotomy is much less invasive.
Surgery is not indicated for all patients with cervical disc protrusions. Many patients can be treated through conservative techniques that efficiently manage pain. Your doctor will decide which treatment approach is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.