Is endoscopic foraminotomy necessary?
Spinal impingements, when they occur are an extremely painful condition differentiated only by the magnitude of distress. These impingements will not resolve themselves with superficial treatments or with special exercising and so on and they will only make the condition worse. The reason for the foraminotomy to be performed can be better better understood after knowing exactly the root cause of the problem.
What is the issue?
As a process of ageing, there is a occurrence called spinal stenosis. This is gradual building up of substance in the cavity in the vertebrae through which the blood vessels, the spine and the nerves pass through. These intervertebral foramina are critical in safeguarding the spine from impact as the vertebrae is the shield. With spinal stenosis, the foramina gete narrow until a point where they make contact with the spine or the nerve endings, or pinch a blood vessel. These lead to various levels of distress and comorbidities, and therefore the pressing need to have the requisite surgical procedures undertaken in order to eliminate the pain.
Many spinal conditions cause changes in the foramina, such as bulging or herniated disc, facet joint syndrome, degenerative disc changes, and spondylosis. Aging, injury and excessive wear-and-tear can also be contributing factors to the condition. Sometimes nerve pinching or blood vessel pinching may occur due to formation of the vertebral column as well. The only straightforward way is endoscopic foraminotomy.
So what needs to be done?
The procedures leading to the surgery are very simple as the procedure itself is almost like an outpatient procedure. Keyhole incisions are made through which instruments and an endoscope are sent to the problem area and the disc is operated upon.
The entire procedure lasts for about one or two hours under general anesthesia and the patient is treated as an outpatient. Endoscopic foraminotomy is a minimally invasive procedure and as a result there is no scar tissue, the chances for infection are minimal and the recovery period is extremely short.