Endoscopic Foraminotomy of the Lumbar and Cervical Spine

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Cervical Posterior Forminotomy

What is an Endoscopic Foraminotomy?

Endoscopic foraminotomy is a minimally invasive spine surgery used to relieve pressure caused by compression from bone spurs, disc herniations, scar tissue, or excessive ligament development. With a quick recovery time, foraminotomy surgery patients are often up and back to normal activities quickly.

During a foraminotomy procedure, part of your vertebral bone is removed to gain access to your pain generator. The two foraminotomy procedures (cervical and lumbar) vary slightly and more detail on each can be found below.

What are the Advantages of an Endoscopic Foraminotomy?

Endoscopic Foraminotomy surgery is a true minimally invasive spine surgery that include the following advantages:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Short recovery
  • High success rates
  • Local anesthesia
  • Minimal or no blood loss
  • Preservation of spinal mobility
  • Small incision and Minimal scar tissue formation
  • Same day surgery with no hospitalization (outpatient procedure)

 

What Conditions Can Endoscopic Foraminotomy Surgery Treat?

Lumbar Endoscopic Foraminotomy

  • Arthritis of the spine / Bone spurs
  • Bulging disc / Disc herniation
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Foraminal narrowing (foraminal stenosis)
  • Spine degeneration
  • Radiculitis / Radiculopathy
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal slippage (spondylolisthesis)
  • Spinal instability
  • Spinal stenosis

Cervical Endoscopic Foraminotomy

  • Cervical spine degenerative disease with spinal nerve compression
  • Failed previous neck surgery
  • Cervical spinal nerves pinched by disc herniations and bone spurs

 

How Is Endoscopic Foraminotomy Surgery Done?

During endoscopic foraminotomy surgery, the patient is brought to the operative room. Under anesthesia, a small metal tube is inserted to the neuroforamen for direct visualization. The surgical tools are inserted through this tube so that your muscles do not need to be torn or cut open. The spinal nerve is found under direct visualization looking through the tube, and protected. Under direct vision, bone spurs, scars, ligament overgrowth, protruded discs, and part of the troubled lumbar facet are removed with appropriate tools (eg, a laser, radiofrequency or mechanical tools) to enlarge the nerve hole and to release the compressed nerve(s). Finally, the tube is removed and the incision is closed with a stitch or two.

step one in endoscopic foraminotomy, Bone cleared.
Bone cleared.
step two in endoscopic foraminotomy, Nerve examined.
Nerve examined.
step three in endoscopic foraminotomy, Herniated portion of disc removed
Herniated portion of disc removed.

Upon completion, the patient is encouraged to walk around and is free to leave the surgical center, with a companion, the same day. After a follow-up visit with the surgeon the next day, the patient can go home for a quick recovery.

doctors note

Note From Dr. Liu:

Before surgical spine treatment is considered, we will exhaust conservative, non-surgical spine treatment options first. Our advanced diagnostic and pain mapping techniques enable us to ensure precise diagnosis, which is one of the most important factors towards effective treatment of your pain.