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Lumbar Foraminotomy

A foraminotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to relieve pain in the lower spine. A small piece of bone and/or soft tissue is removed from the lumbar (lower) portion of the spine, resulting in an enlarged space through which nerve roots travel. This opening is called the neural foramen. The increased space created for the nerve typically results in a rapid and significant decrease in pain. Lower spine pain may be a result of degenerative discs, herniation, bulging discs, spinal stenosis, and more.

Benefits of Lumbar Foraminotomy

What Lumbar Foraminotomy Treats

Benefits of Lumbar Foraminotomy

  • Relief: By relieving pressure on the nerve, pain and numbness are significantly relieved after surgery, with continual gradual relief over time
  • Outpatient: Usually performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing for faster recovery than traditional surgery and lower cost to the patient
  • Lower Infection Rate: North American Spine facilities focus specifically on minimally invasive surgery, not on illness and infection. With an infection rate that is less than 1%, your risk of developing an infection or an illness is far lower than it would be at a large hospital
  • Minimally invasive technique: allows surgeon to preserve muscle, ligaments and tendons so there is less postoperative pain.
  • Best Outcomes: 95% of our patients would recommend their physician

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Details of the Lumbar Foraminotomy

Lumbar foraminotomy aims to relieve the symptoms of nerve impingement in the lower spine by enlarging the neural foramen. The procedure is performed through a small incision—an inch or less in size—in the lower back. Specialized instruments 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 uses specialized tools to remove the sections of the disc that are pressing on the nerve.

Preparing for the Lumbar 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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Lumbar Foraminotomy Recovery

This procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Many patients will notice immediate improvement of some or all of their symptoms. Other symptoms may improve more gradually. Many patients who undergo a lumbar foraminotomy can often return to their regular activities within several weeks. This can vary depending on the individual patient, number of levels treated, and other factors. Recovery will include rest, physical therapy, and may include a course of pain management medication.

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Larry L.

Condition: Spinal Stenosis

Procedure: Laminotomy/ Laminectomy

“I was having to take so much medication because of the pain that i was becoming addicted to the pain killers.”

"I feel I have been given a new body, virtually without pain. All of my symptoms have been resolved to the point where I can again enjoy life. [Now I can] GO WITHOUT PAIN medication!"

“Quality of life was very poor before the surgery. I was in constant pain in my back and legs 24/7. I also had tremendous pain in my feet and toes. I could not wear regular shoes without a lot of pain. And I could not sleep because of the pain.”

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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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