Each year, approximately 12,000 people sustain a new spinal cord injury? That’s 30 new injuries every day. Of those injuries, it’s estimated that 60 percent are 30 years old or younger!
Members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and the North American Spine Society, Dr. Bae and his team of talented physicians are trusted leaders in the field of spine surgery, acting as members and researchers to help provide patients with as many options as possible for eliminating back or neck pain as the result of spinal conditions.
What is Foraminotomy Surgery?
A foraminotomy is a surgery that enlarges the passageway where the nerve roots leave the spinal canal, taking pressure off the nerves to allow the spine to move more easily. This surgical procedure is used to relieve nerve root compression, also known as a pinched nerve, and can be performed on any level of the spine. During the procedure, the surgeon will cut or shave away bone to open the nerve root and will remove any disc fragments (bone or tissue) that obstruct the passageway to help minimize inflammation and pain. Generally, a foraminotomy procedure takes about one to two hours to complete, however will ultimately be dependent on the patient’s spinal condition and complexity of the nerve damage.
The results of the surgery are variable because some patients will be treating more extensive damage than others. In general, most patients can expect reduced or eliminated arm pain, as well as enhanced strength which can further be worked on with a physical therapist.
A majority of patients are able to get out of bed and sit up within two hours of surgery, and are often encouraged to be up and moving a few hours following. Being able to return home the day of a foraminotomy surgery is very common. The doctor will give specific instructions on when the patient can return to normal daily activities, with most being able to return to driving and light work within four weeks.
As with all surgical procedures, there are risks which can include, but are not limited to reactions to medication, bleeding, infection of wound or vertebral bones, and damage to the spinal nerve. The best way to eliminate these risks is to work with a board-certified surgeon who has experience performing foraminotomy procedures.
If you have acute or chronic pain that radiates from the neck to the shoulders, arms, hands or fingers that prevents you from performing daily activities or partaking in physical activity, you may be a good candidate for foraminotomy. For more information or to see if you are a candidate for foraminotomy surgery, contact The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Our physicians are part of a world class diagnostic team and have the experience and expertise to help determine if this procedure is the right choice for you, or if another course of action would be preferred. Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule a consultation with one of our talented spine surgeons Santa Monica residents can count on.