Foraminotomy Surgery: Expert Procedure for Nerve Relief


The spinal cord plays a major role in the chain of bones in our body. From the neck to the lower back, there is a chain of 31 bones, which are connected to each other. A hollow pipe-like hole is formed in the middle of this chain.

Through this hole, a chain of spinal nerves runs from the brain to the lower part of the waist. Later on, these spinal nerves control different parts of the body. Their main function is to carry the neural signals sent from the brain to different parts of the body. Its length is 45 cm in males and 43 cm in females.

The spinal nerve lies between the openings of the bones of the spine. A fluid that surrounds the spinal nerves is “spinal-fluid”. The main purpose of spinal fluid and spinal cord (spinal cord) is to provide protection to these spinal nerves, to hold the body structure firmly.


  • 7 Cervical which passes through neck
  • 12 Thoracic which supplies the back part of chest
  • 5 Lumbar which supports the lower back
  • 5 Sacral which supplies the coccyx

If you have been suffering from nerve irritation, it is quite difficult to deal with. Any compression or slightest pressure on the nerves arising from the spinal cord may cause excruciating pain.

Neglecting such a pain can lead to many complications in future. There are higher chances where you might get diabled or lose control over the bowel and bladder movement.

Initially, your doctor will treat you with consertive health techniques like physical therapy or physiotherapy along with medications. Surgery is generally the last resort when the physical therapies with conservative care are not solving the problem.

Your spine specialist will analyse the problems accordingly and may choose from a few different operations based on your specific issue. One of the most common operations is Foraminotomy procedure. Let’s take a closer look and explain how Foraminotomy procedure can help relieve a variety of nerve issues.

Foraminotomy Spine Surgery


Foraminotomy is designed to treat a wide range of nerve issues. It is one of the methods used to achieve decompression of the affected area. Often, the nerve pain is caused by the compression of one or more nerves which may lead to excruciating pain.

This compression may result in spinal stenosis or narrowing of the spinal canal which may increase pressure on the spine. Nerve pain is also caused by the compressing spinal disc or narrowing of the foraminal opening which is also known as the foramen. A foraminotomy procedure widens this area and decompresses the structure affected.

Common problems where foraminotomy can be addressed includes :

  • Bulging of herniated disc
  • Foraminal stenosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms or legs
  • Sciatica
  • Boney spurs
  • Pain in back
  • Neuropathy Severe case of spondylosis
  • Slip disc
  • Ankylosing spondylosis

If you are diagnosed with any of the following conditions and not getting cured of pain, it is important to reach out to your spine specialist who can help you with Foraminotomy and treat your condition at the right time.

Also, you need to take care, if you are resonating with any of the conditions and symptoms like-

  • Back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Arm pain
  • Pain radiating from lower back to leg
  • Tingling sensation
  • Burning sensation
  • Radiating pain
  • Discomfort in spine
  • Loss of control of bowels and bladder
  • Loss of balance
  • Lack of gait

Consult your spine specialist at the earliest for the best possible course of action. Get an official diagnosis done and know the best possible treatments.


  • A foraminotomy begins with a patient lying on the stomach and the surgeon making a small incision near the spine at the level of compression.
  • The surgeon will carefully navigate through the muscle in order to reach the compression site.
  • One the compression site is accessed, the surgeon will perform the decompression procedures which may include the following like removing bone spurs, debriding herniated disc or removing any other blockages in the foraminal space
  • The decompression procedure will create more space through which the spinal nerve can travel.
  • Once enough space is created, the surgeon will remove the devices and tools and return the muscle to its original location.
  • The incision site is then closed with absorbable sutures and the patient is discharged to the recovery room.
  • The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis, or there may be a need to stay one day or two day in hospital.

Risk of the Foraminotomy procedure

Risk of the foraminotomy procedure is very low but it is important to remember that every surgery carries some risk. Here are some risk associated with foraminotomy procedure –

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Overall complication is very low when foraminotomy procedure

After Foraminotomy surgery

  • Restrict few physical activities
  • You are likely to be referred to a physiotherapist who can help you with some rehabilitation and speed up the recovery process.

Recovery after Foraminotomy surgery

Recovery time is usually 4-12 weeks depending on the specifics of your operation and most patients experience great results after rehabilitation is done.


  • Get to the bottom of the spinal discomfort and take a call under the guidance of your spinal specialist for Foraminotomy procedure.
  • Do not be careless, get checked by X-ray or MRI
  • The problem is identified by the pain that accompanies the disorder. Confirmation is generally done by X-ray and MRI.
  • The most accurate test is that of MRI, in which the final surface of the bone, the position of the nerve can be accurately assessed. Initially, the problem is limited to only pain, but gradually the problem increases and other problems start as its side effects.
  • These problems include sciatica, foot drop (in this, the person’s control over the foot is almost lost. It can also be called partial paralysis or paralysis.), numbness due to the affected nerve, or the risk of further paralysis increases.
  • Due to a slipped disc, there is constant pressure on the nerve. If this pressure is relatively increased, the risk of nerve damage increases.
  • Once the nerve is cut, the associated problem becomes permanent. In the part of the body that the nerves control, a disorder arises in it and its treatment becomes almost impossible.
  • In the beginning, yoga, physiotherapy or medicine can be cured.
  • In the initial problem, the use of yoga, physiotherapy and medicine can be controlled, but if the pain increases, then the doctor recommends an operation.
  • During the operation, surgeons cut and remove this dislocated disc. With the release of the disc, the pressure on the nerve ends and the patient gets relief.
  • Operation is the last resort when the problem escalates to the spinal expert.
  • Speak to your spinal expert and get the solution to the problem
  • Approach your specialist who will guide you through the surgery and help in relieving your pain
  • Take an initiative right away and consult your doctor if you have long standing back pain or nerve irritation.
  • Make sure that you listen to your spine surgeon and sail through the surgery with desired results.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from pinched nerve pain in your spine, foraminotomy surgery may be the best option for you.

Call us on (469) 545-9983 to book an appointment with our specialists.

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