What Is Foraminotomy?

If you have ever suffered from a “pinched nerve” in your neck you know how uncomfortable it can be. We can now treat this condition with a procedure called cervical foraminotomy. During this procedure we enlarge the space where a spinal nerve root exits your cervical spinal canal. This procedure can relieve the symptoms of a pinched nerve.

Can foraminotomy help you?

When a cervical nerve root is compressed, it can cause neck pain, stiffness and pain radiating into your shoulder, arm and hand causing numbness, tingling and/or weakness. Protruding or ruptured discs, bone spurs and thickened ligaments or joints can all cause narrowing of the foraminal space where the nerve exits the spinal canal and causes the above symptoms. Patients who do not improve with conservative treatment may be candidates for this procedure.

What should you expect?

Expect some discomfort at the surgical site. This typically resolves over time and can be controlled with oral pain medicines. Some patients can be discharged on the day of surgery but most will need 24 to 48 hours in the hospital. Most patients will notice immediate improvement in some or all of their symptoms. Some symptoms, however, may improve only gradually. A positive attitude, reasonable expectations and compliance with your spine specialist’s recommendations all contribute to a satisfactory result. A cervical collar (brace) is rarely necessary. Most patients can return to their regular activities in several weeks. Our foraminotomy patients come to us from Vernon, South Windsor, Manchester, Hartford, Bloomfield, Ellington and close-by locations.

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