The endoscopic foraminoplasty is one of the least invasive spine surgeries. It is used to relieve pressure on the exiting nerve or spinal cord, caused by:
The last three conditions on this list are caused by a narrowing of the spine or foramen. Using an endoscopic approach, this technique uses microscopic surgical tools through an endoscope to selectively remove some of the bone. This helps enlarge the foramen and relieve pressure on the nerves.
What Is the Endoscopic Foraminoplasty Success Rate?
From our experience at Spine Institute of North America and research studies published on the effectiveness of endoscopic foraminoplasty, we can say that it has a success of rate of over 90 percent.
In a study of 16 patients who went through the endoscopic foraminoplasty procedure, 15 recorded excellent or good outcomes, and none had a poor outcome. There were no post-operational infections or injuries. Also, none of the patients needed a second operation.
What Is the Typical Endoscopic Foraminoplasty Recovery Time?
Unlike open spine surgery used to treat foraminal stenosis, endoscopic foraminoplasty surgery uses only a small incision. That’s why, instead of the 12-month recovery period for open spinal surgery, recovery time for this modern surgical procedure is far less dependent on the severity of the pain and condition. In most cases, the patient can start physical therapy the same day as the operation.
Advantages of Endoscopic Foraminoplasty vs. Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
- An HD camera is used to give the surgeon a better view of the disc damage as compared to traditional surgical methods
- No need for a spinal fusion
- Uses a tiny incision so there is less risk of scarring
- Spinal mobility is preserved thanks to less scarring
- Small incision eliminates the risk of significant blood loss
- No need for general anesthesia
- Less pain after the procedure, reducing the need for narcotic painkillers
- Less recovery time needed so patient can resume normal activities sooner
- Patients can get back to work sooner
What Conditions Does Endoscopic Foraminoplasty Treat?
- Spinal and foraminal stenosis
- Arthritis of the facet or vertebral bodies
- Bulging disc
- Bone spurs
- Failed back surgery syndrome
- Radicular pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Sciatica pain
How is this procedure performed?
You will be given local anesthesia, after which the surgeon will insert a dilator into a 1/4 inch incision in your back. The incision will be near the herniated disc. Then the surgeon will insert a 7mm tube, keeping the incision open so the surgeon has access to the damaged disc. An HD camera is inserted into the tube so the surgeon can get a good, clear look at the disc in order to see the issue that’s causing your pain. Next, the surgeon will use microscopic surgical instruments to remove the damaged portion of your disc, facet joint, or any scar tissue that might be present and irritating the spinal nerve. The surgeon can also use a last and radiofrequency probe to decompress the foramen. This will allow the spinal nerve to function again and relieve many painful symptoms you may have been experiencing.
How long is the recovery?
The procedure takes about an hour on average. Most patients need about an hour to recover after the surgery, and then they are free to go home. You will have little if any pain or discomfort; in fact, you won’t even have any stitches! The surgeon will simply cover the incision with a small band-aid.
How soon can you return to work?
Recovery depends on how well you and your body respond to the procedure. Typically, most patients will feel better immediately after surgery and go back to work within a few days. Be careful to listen and comply with your physician’s post-operative instructions. Although you may feel better, it is best to not do any heavy lifting at all until cleared by your physician.
ARE YOU A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR ENDOSCOPIC FORAMINOPLASTY?
To see if you are a good candidate for an Endoscopic Foraminoplasty, take our pain evaluation questionnaire and someone from our office will get back to you within a day.
If you already know what you are suffering from and want to make an appointment now click here: