Cervical Posterior Foraminotomy

A cervical foraminotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to widen the area where nerve roots exit the spinal cord and relieve any pressure on the nerves caused by an intervertebral disc, a condition known as disc protusions. The nerves are very sensitive structures that can cause severe pain, muscle weakness and other unwanted symptoms if affected.

During the foraminotomy procedure, small disc fragments are removed in order to relieve pressure on nearby nerve roots. Because most of the disc is left in place, fusion is not needed during this procedure and patients will be able to function properly after surgery. The incision is made in the back of the neck in order to access the spine and perform this procedure. Compared to other procedures that correct abnormalities of the discs, foraminotomy is much less invasive.

Surgery is not indicated for all patients with cervical disc protrusions. Many patients can be treated through conservative techniques that efficiently manage pain. Your doctor will decide which treatment approach is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.

Cervical Laminaplasty

Cervical laminaplasty is an advanced surgical procedure that expands the diameter of the spinal canal in patients with spinal stenosis. This helps eliminate compression on the nerves and relieves symptoms such as pain, weakness and tingling of the muscles.  This procedure may be performed as an alternative to a laminectomy in patients with certain spine conditions.

During the cervical laminaplasty procedure, an incision is made in the back of the neck, which can be easily hidden after surgery. The lamina are elevated and a portion of the ligaments in the area are removed to widen the diameter of the spinal canal. This effectively relieves decompression of the spine and nearby nerves. Metal plates are used to keep the new positioning of the spine in place.

After surgery, patients are usually able to get up and walk around the very next day. You will be able to return home after a two to three day hospital stay. A cervical collar will need to be worn for several weeks to ensure that the area heals properly. Some patients will experience immediate relief from their symptoms, while others may notice a more gradual improvement.


A laminectomy relieves nerve pressure and pain caused by spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the nerves and causes pain throughout the spine and extremities. It can develop as a result of bone spurs or just from aging. In this procedure, a small section of bone that covers the back of the spinal cord, called the lamina, is removed to relieve the compression.

A laminectomy is performed through the back of the spine under general anesthesia. The removal of the lamina and any bone spurs relieves the pressure on the spinal cord. The remaining spine bones can be connected by titanium metal rods with screws attached to bones on each side. The procedure can also be done without fusion.

Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Lumbar interbody fusion is a surgical procedure commonly performed on patients with degeneration, instability or physical deformities within the lower spine. Interbody fusion involves removing an intervertebral disc from the affected area and replacing it with a bone graft, which will fuse with the surrounding vertebrae over time for restored function, stability and strength.

There are many options available as to how this procedure is performed, including through a posterior, anterior or transforaminal incision. Your doctor will decide which technique is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition. Once the incision has been made, the damaged disc is carefully removed and a bone graft harvested from the hip is placed.

After lumbar interbody fusion surgery, patients will be required to stay in the hospital for up to a week, during which time physical and occupational therapy sessions will take place to help patients regain movement and function as they heal. You should avoid bending, twisting or driving for six weeks.

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a surgical procedure performed to remove damaged intervertebral discs and fuse the vertebrae together to relieve painful symptoms within the lower back.

This procedure is performed through a single incision in the lower back that cuts the layers of muscle and ligaments on either side of the spine. The damaged disc is then removed with a special instrument, and the empty space is filled with a bone graft to maintain the structure of the spine. Metal plates and screws are often used to hold the bone graft in place. The TLIF procedure is similar to a posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), except that the discs are removed from the side during TLIF, rather than the back.

After the TLIF procedure, most patients can return home after a three to five day hospital stay, and can return to work and other everyday activities after two to three weeks. You will need to undergo physical and occupational therapy after this procedure in order to restore function to the treated area. Most patients experience significant improvement to their symptoms after the TLIF procedure.

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