A foraminotomy is a surgical procedure performed to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves caused by the narrowing of the neural foramen. The neural foramen are small openings on both sides of each vertebra through which spinal nerves exit the spinal cord and extend out to various parts of the body. These nerves play a crucial role in transmitting sensory and motor signals between the brain and the rest of the body.
When the neural foramen become narrowed due to various factors, such as degenerative changes in the spine, herniated discs, bone spurs, or other spinal conditions, they can compress the spinal nerves passing through them. This compression can result in pain, numbness, weakness, or other neurological symptoms that radiate along the nerve pathway.
A foraminotomy involves the surgical removal of a portion of the bone or tissue that is compressing the nerve within the neural foramen. By enlarging the space within the foramen, the pressure on the affected nerve is alleviated, which can help relieve the associated symptoms.
Foraminotomy can be performed through traditional open surgery or using minimally invasive techniques, such as endoscopic or microsurgical approaches. The choice of approach depends on factors such as the specific location and severity of the compression, as well as the surgeon's expertise.
As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and benefits associated with foraminotomy. It's essential for individuals considering this procedure to consult with a qualified medical professional who can evaluate their specific condition, provide appropriate recommendations, and discuss the potential outcomes and risks involved.
Spine Physicians Institute treats back pain, neck pain, herniated discs, stenosis and other spine problems. Patients come to the spine center from across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Dr. Sethuraman is one of few Mayo Clinic fellowship-trained spine surgeons in the North Texas area. A fellowship is the highest level of medical education in the U.S.