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Cervical Foraminotomy

Cervical foraminotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a small piece of bone and/or soft tissue is removed in the cervical spine to relieve the symptoms of a pinched nerve by enlarging the neural foramen (the opening between the vertebrae through which spinal nerve roots travel).

Benefits of Cervical Foraminotomy

Cervical foraminotomies are performed to treat focal disc herniations that are compressing spinal nerve roots in the neck (cervical spine). Compression of cervical spinal nerve roots can cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms. Performing this procedure in a minimally invasive fashion is intended to provide symptom relief, reduced surgical risk, and quicker recovery. Cervical foraminotomy is also typically an outpatient procedure, which potentially reduces the out-of-pocket cost for the patient as they are not required to stay overnight.

To determine if you are a candidate for cervical foraminotomy, contact one of our Patient Care Managers at 877.474.2225. Our medical team will review your MRI or CT-scan for free to see if we can help.

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Details of the Cervical Foraminotomy

Cervical foraminotomy aims to relieve the symptoms of nerve impingement in the cervical spine by enlarging the neural foramen. The procedure is performed through a very small incision in the back of the neck. A small tube is placed between the muscle fibers to preserve muscles, tendons and ligaments. Through the small tube, the surgeon will remove a portion of the vertebra called the lamina, which is adjacent to your spinal cord and forms part of the wall of your spinal canal. Next, specialized instruments and microscopes are used to gain access to the compressed foramen and the intruding spinal disc material. With guidance from a surgical microscope and live X-rays displayed on a monitor, the surgeon will then use specialized tools to scrape out the bone spurs in the foramen and remove the damaged sections of the disc that are compressing the nerve.

While every surgery carries some risk, adverse complications are rare and most patients are able to go home the day of the surgery. Your physician will counsel you on these risks prior to the procedure.

Preparing for the Cervical Foraminotomy

Before pursuing a foraminotomy, prospective patients should have tried conservative methods, such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and spinal injections. If those methods have not produced meaningful relief, you may be a candidate for a North American Spine procedure.

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Cervical Foraminotomy Recovery

Cervical foraminotomy is typically performed on an outpatient basis. As with all minimally invasive procedures, the foraminotomy is less likely to cause extensive scarring or require an extended recovery than traditional open spine surgery. Many patients will notice immediate improvement of some or all of their symptoms; however, other symptoms may improve more gradually. To give the body proper time to heal, some activities will be limited for a period of time following the procedure. More in-depth, customized recovery guidelines will be provided by your North American Spine physician.

To determine if you are a candidate for a cervical foraminotomy, contact us anytime at 877.474.2225 or submit a form on this page.

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Barbara D.

Condition: Herniated Disc

Procedure: ACDF

“Almost all of my symptoms have resolved and I have full use of everything.”

"My quality of life was falling fast with the inability to use both of my arms and hands due to numbness...I am still in the healing process, however life is great now. Almost all of my symptoms have resolved and I have full use of everything. I can grab something and actually hold onto it."

Connect With A Patient

Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

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