When the nerves become compressed by the intervertebral foramen, the space where a nerve root exits the spinal canal, Endoscopic Foraminotomy is used to relieve the pressure. The pressure is caused by compression from bone, disc, scar tissue or excessive ligament development resulting in a pinched nerve.
This is a minimally invasive procedure beginning with IV sedation and a local anesthetic. Then, a small incision is made at the back of the neck and a hole is cut in the vertebrae itself. A series of tubes are used to get to the spine in order to prevent damage to the surrounding muscles. Using an anthroscope, the foramen can be seen and the material causing the pressure can be removed.
Some patients will feel immediate relief once the irritating material has been removed. The procedure is completed with a stitch or two upon the incision site.
Endoscopic Foraminotomy is a minimally invasive procedure with a quick recovery time. Patients are up and back to normal activities in no time.