Posterior Foraminotomy and Discectomy


A Posterior Foraminotomy and Discectomy is a surgical procedure that relieves pressure on the spine by allowing more room for the spinal nerves to pass through. Relieving this pressure may reduce pain in the spinal area and even extending out towards the arms.

What is it?  

A posterior foraminotomy and discectomy is a procedure aimed at relieving spinal pressure from herniated discs off to the side. This pressure may be at the source of nerve pain radiating towards the arms. This method creates more space for the nerves to pass through and therefore relieves pressure.

What should I do to prepare?  

You should consult with your medical professional about the best course of action to take to prepare for your surgery. This surgery generally requires the use of general anesthesia, so you should follow general guidelines such as refraining from food or drink the night before surgery and avoiding certain medications.

What happens during the process?  

An incision is made on the back of the neck and muscles are dissected from the affected bone. A drill is used in order to widen the opening through which the nerves pass. Any bone spurs are removed. After the opening is widened, the disc space is examined. If a herniated disc needs to be removed, it will be removed and proper bone grafts will be inserted.

What are the risks and potential complications? 

Risks include infection, bleeding, swelling and inflammation. Severe risks may include leaking spinal fluid and spinal nerve damage.


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