Foraminotomy . It is surgery to widen the opening in the back where the nerve roots exit the spinal canal. This procedure relieves pain and weakness of the extremities, weakness and pain caused by compressed nerves at the level of the hole or intervertebral foramen .


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  • 1 Alternative names
  • 2 Description
  • 3 Reasons to perform the procedure
  • 4 Risks
  • 5 Forecast
  • 6 Sources

Alternative names

Conjunction holes, spinal surgery


Foraminotomy can be performed at any level of the spine. The patient will be asleep and will not feel pain (general anesthesia). A cut (incision) is made in the middle of the back of the spine.. The length of the incision depends on how much the spine will be operated on. The skin, muscles and ligaments are pushed aside. The surgeon can use a surgical microscope to see inside the back. Some bone is cut or shaved to widen the opening of the nerve roots (vertebral foramen), and any fragments of the disc are removed. Another bone may also be removed at the back of the vertebrae to open up more space. If the surgeon is concerned about the stability of the spine after the bone has been removed, you may also need to have a spinal arthrodesis . Muscles and other tissues are put back in place and the skin is sutured.

Reasons to perform the procedure

The possibility of this surgery can be considered if the patient has severe symptoms that interfere with his daily life. Such symptoms include:

  • Pain that can be felt in the thigh, calf, lower back, shoulder, arms, and hands. Often it is deep and constant.
  • Pain when doing certain activities or moving the body in a certain way. Numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness.


The risks of this surgery are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection in the wound or spinal bones
  • Damage to a spinal nerve, causing weakness, pain, or loss of sensation
  • Pain that is partially relieved or not relieved after surgery
  • Return of back pain in the future
  • Thrombophlebitis


Foraminotomy for spinal stenosis will often provide complete or partial relief of symptoms. Spinal problems in the future are possible for all patients after spinal surgery. If the patient had spinal arthrodesis and laminectomy , the spine above and below the fusion is more likely to have problems in the future. Similarly, if the person needs more than one type of back surgery (such as foraminotomy and spinal arthrodesis), they may be more likely to have future problems.


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