Cervical Endoscopic Foraminotomy Benefits
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 02:32

Some individuals who experience herniated discs in their neck will eventually need spine surgery. Since there are many options out there, it may be useful to review some information about different spine procedures' benefits and risks.

When medications and physical therapy fail to provide pain relief, this type of disc herniation can be treated using anterior cervical endoscopic foraminotomy and back fusion. During this traditional procedure, a spine surgeon cuts through the front of the neck to access the spine and remove the herniated disc. It is then replaced with a piece of bone to create a solid fusion between two or more vertebrae in order to strengthen and stabilize the spine.

The problem with this option is that it takes time, since the patient needs to be put under general anesthesia, and is invasive, causing significant trauma to surrounding soft tissues. As a result, it requires an extended recovery time, which reduces post-operative mobility and quality of life.

Another viable procedure is arthroplasty, in which the spine surgeon replaces the removed disc with an artificial one made of steel, plastic or titanium. The benefits include potentially better spine mobility and less stress on adjacent discs.

However, there are also downsides: the artificial disk may become lose or not fit well and may need to be replaced. Moreover, the procedure is more expensive due to the cost of the implant, and some insurance companies, for example those in California, do not cover it.

This suggests that cervical endoscopic foraminotomy may be the best option for those with chronic pain in the neck. It is indicated for a variety of spinal neck conditions, including herniated disc, bone spurs and disc degeneration. During the minimally invasive procedure, the surgeon inserts a small tube into the cervical spine nerve canal and removes abnormal tissue using a laser. The use of laser technology also allows the doctor to deaden pain nerves inside the disc and harden it to prevent leakage to the surrounding areas.

The surgery is an outpatient procedure, resulting in a recovery time that is dramatically reduced, allowing the patient to be back on their feet and performing their daily activities within a couple of weeks. Moreover, the risk of complications, such as blood loss or infection, is much smaller, as is the scar left after the surgical incision.

Medical statistics suggest that more than 200,000 Americans undergo spine surgery for herniated neck discs every year.

For more information about this and other spine procedures, call us today at 877-722-6008.