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Discover how foraminotomy surgeries are performed at Laser Spine Institute St. Louis

If you have a compression-related spine condition, you may experience a great deal of neck or back pain on a regular basis. At Laser Spine Institute we understand how debilitating and devastating chronic pain can pain be. Our expert surgeons are committed to helping as many patients as possible every day, with advanced surgical techniques like foraminotomy.

Causes of compression

Elements of the spinal canal can move or deteriorate, sometimes due to aging. When this happens, compression or irritation can affect the surrounding nerves or spinal cord. This can cause a number of chronic and uncomfortable symptoms, including pain, radiating pain, numbness, tingling and weakness.

Doctors typically encourage patients to try conservative treatment options when this type of condition and associated pain occurs, including the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medications
  • Stretching or yoga
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic care

Conservative treatments help many people with neck or back pain, but conservative measures sometimes fail to address underlying issues. As a result, pain may linger — even after trying conservative treatments for several months or longer.

Minimally invasive decompression

If you have tried conservative treatments and have not yet found relief for a painful compression-related spine condition, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive decompression procedure like foraminotomy. During a minimally invasive decompression procedure, the surgeon uses a series of dilating tubes to access the impacted area. The first tube of the series is inserted in a less than 1-inch incision followed by tubes increasing in size, which are placed over the first tube, one at a time. This slowly creates the opening to the spine, splitting the muscles between their fibers. The last tube is about 18 millimeters in diameter, and, through this working tube, the surgeon inserts surgical instruments. Once everything is in place, the surgeon can remove the bone, ligament or tissue that is compressing the nerve.

Foraminotomy procedure

Foraminotomy is a specific type of minimally invasive decompression, helping to relieve pressure on the nerve root as it exits through the foraminal canal. Foraminotomy offers you a number of benefits and is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery.^ Some of the benefits offered by this procedure, when compared to traditional back surgery, include:

  • Advanced techniques spare the surrounding muscles and tissue from being cut or torn
  • A less than 1-inch incision is used
  • Performed as an outpatient procedure
  • No lengthy recovery^
  • Reduced risk of infection

The surgeons at Laser Spine Institute specialize exclusively in outpatient minimally invasive outpatient surgery. With a 98 patient satisfaction score^, our surgeons have helped more than 75,000 people since 2005.

Conditions treated by a foraminotomy

At Laser Spine Institute we understand that finding relief is your top priority. With the minimally invasive foraminotomy procedure, we are able to treat a number of the common spine conditions including:

  • Pinched nerves
  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Sciatica
  • Foraminal narrowing

Is foraminotomy right for you?

We know that the pain and symptoms associated with a spine condition can be devastating — but help is available. Do not wait to find the relief you deserve. Contact a member of our Care Team to learn more about the foraminotomy procedure. We will review your MRI and CT scan films, CDs and reports to assess your situation and determine if we can help.