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Procedure

Minimally Invasive Laminectomy Foraminotomy

What Are Laminectomy and Foraminotomy?

Laminectomy and foraminotomy are both spine surgery procedures that help alleviate painful conditions associated with your back. You usually get a laminectomy to relieve pressure on your spinal cord and nerve roots, while a foraminotomy is done to enlarge the opening in your spine near the spinal canal where the nerve roots pass through.

Back pain is a common ailment that affects about 80 percent of Americans. Early diagnosis leads to effective pain relief as spine problems come in various forms. You may be struck with sports-related spinal fractures or curvature of the spine. Consulting the top spine specialists at Premier Brain & Spine is the best way to protect your back and prevent serious consequences like spinal cord injuries that lead to permanent disabilities.

Why Choose Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery is an innovative way to treat medical conditions without large incisions. For open surgeries, a spine surgeon usually needs to create a wide cut, which takes much longer to heal. Additionally, complications are greatly reduced with minimally invasive techniques. When you opt for a minimally invasive surgery, the advantages include:

  • Minimally invasive operations require several tiny incisions, usually between three to five cuts.
  • Since the cuts are small, recovery time is shorter.
  • For most of these procedures, you usually go home the same day to recover.
  • As the cuts are tiny, the scars are almost invisible.
  • There is significantly less blood loss with this procedure.

Robotic-assisted surgeries and endoscopic surgeries are two types of minimally invasive surgery that your doctor from the NJ spine center may recommend. Both are effective in treating a myriad of medical conditions, including spinal tumors. In fact, the endoscopic lumbar foraminotomy boasts a 72 to 83 percent success rate for relieving long-term back pain.

Why Do I Need These Surgical Interventions?

Before you undergo a surgery, your NJ orthopedics doctor may have prescribed a number of non-surgical treatments, such as spinal injections or physical therapy. If these conservative measures haven’t helped your painful symptoms, it’s time to consider a minimally invasive laminectomy and foraminotomy.

In some cases, your symptoms are severe enough to require surgery right away. Laminectomy and foraminotomy surgeries are employed at your NJ spine center to treat several spinal conditions, including:

  • Spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of your spinal cord
  • A herniated disc, a condition that causes an intervertebral disc to leak its soft core, irritating your nerves
  • Sciatica, a condition associated with a pinched sciatic nerve
  • Bone spurs, growths on the edges of your joints
  • Spinal tumors or cysts, which are abnormal growths in your spine
  • Spondylolisthesis, a condition where a vertebra moves out of place
  • Spondylosis, a condition that develops due to the constant wear and tear of your spine
  • Paget’s disease, a chronic skeletal disorder
  • Radiculopathy, caused by a pinched nerve root near your spinal cord
  • Dwarfism, a congenital disorder that may cause scoliosis
  • Spinal arthritis, which causes stiffness in your spinal joints
  • Degenerative disc disease, wear and tear that affects your intervertebral discs
  • Spinal fractures, usually caused by trauma or osteoporosis

What Can I Expect During the Minimally Invasive Surgery?

The day before the surgery, you need to stop eating and drinking after midnight. You may have to stop taking certain medications, especially if they have blood-thinner qualities. On the day of the minimally invasive laminectomy and foraminotomy surgery, the procedure typically involves several common steps, such as:

  1. You lie face down on the surgical table and receive anesthesia or sedation.
  2. You surgeon makes small incisions in your back, near the problem area.
  3. Using a stiff tube-shaped retractor tool, your doctor moves back muscles and soft tissues aside, creating a passageway to the problem area.
  4. Using small specialized surgical tools, your surgeon removes all the materials causing the compression of the spinal nerves.
  5. Relying on a fluoroscope to show real-time images of your spinal structure on a screen, your surgeon has a clear view of the impacted area, ensuring that all the damage is repaired.
  6. Spondylolisthesis, a condition where a vertebra moves out of place

Both laminectomy and foraminotomy come under the umbrella of decompression surgery. During the laminectomy procedure, your doctor removes the bony arch of the vertebra called the lamina. By removing this bone, the pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord is released. Your surgeon then works on the underlying spinal problem.

Foraminotomy involves the neuroforamen area that’s created between the lower and upper vertebra on either side. Spinal nerves pass through the neuroforamen tunnel, exiting the spinal cord to reach other parts of your body. Your surgeon removes any obstruction that’s narrowing the neuroforamen tunnel so the spinal nerves pass without problem.

What Happens After the Surgery?

Minimally invasive laminectomy and foraminotomy help you regain your previous level of mobility by eliminating or reducing pain and associated symptoms. Going home the same day is probably the best reason to get this form of surgery. You may be sore for a few days and need medication to control the pain. Your NJ ortho specialist recommends that you move around instead of lying in bed. Walking is the best exercise as it isn’t strenuous. You may also need a few sessions of physical therapy.

The success rate is about 90 to 95 percent for pain relief. To prevent back pain from becoming a chronic, debilitating ailment, contact the top spine surgeons at Premier Brain & Spine at the first sign of back pain. You may be eligible for a minimally invasive laminectomy and foraminotomy, saving you years of living in pain.

Updated on Oct 24, 2022 by Dr. David Wells-Roth (Neurosurgeon) of Premier Brain & Spine

Premier Brain & Spine
10 Parsonage Rd, Suite 208A
Edison, NJ 08837
(732) 258-0190