Foraminotomy is a medical operation used to relieve pressure on nerves that are being compressed by the intervertebral foramina, the passages through the bones of the vertebrae of the spine that pass nerve bundles to the body from the spinal cord. A diagram of a thoracic vertebra. ... The vertebral column seen from the side Different regions (curvatures) of the vertebral column The vertebral column (backbone or spine) is a column of vertebrae situated in the dorsal aspect of the abdomen. ... The spinal cord is a part of the vertebrate nervous system that is enclosed in and protected by the vertebral column (it passes through the spinal canal). ...
One example of a foraminotomy is a keyhole foraminotomy. This is a minimally invasive procedure in which an incision is made in the back of the neck, the muscle peeled away to reveal the bone underneath, and a small hole cut into the vertebra itself. Through this hole, the foramen can be visualized, and the impinging bone or disk material removed.
Three foraminotomy holes are demonstrated (A), and a surgical instrument is passed between two foraminotomy holes to probe longitudinal decompression (B).
Through the use of small holes (called foraminotomy holes) made with the aid of an endoscope or an operating microscope, the procedure removes the calcium-bone buildup that is putting pressure on the spinal cord.
It is performed through a small foraminotomy hole (5 mm) made at the side of the cervical spine via a small skin incision made at the anterior neck.
When the anterior foraminotomy is completed, decompression of the spinal cord canal is performed by resection of the posterior osteophytes across the midline diagonally to the beginning of the contralateral nerve root.
Using the holes of anterior foraminotomies, the spinal cord canal is enlarged in the longitudinal axis by removing the posterior portion of the vertebral bodies with Kerrison rongeurs and a long-armed up-biting curet.
Although microsurgical anterior foraminotomy for cervical radiculopathy has been performed as outpatient surgery, this group of patients with myelopathy stayed in the hospital overnight to observe their spinal cord function clinically; they were discharged home the next morning.
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