Endoscopic Foraminoplasty Overview
Endoscopic foraminoplasty is one of the least invasive spine procedures used to relieve back pain caused by pressure on the exiting nerve or spinal cord, caused by herniated disc, bone spurs and scar tissue. Degenerative disc, foraminal stenosis and facet disease are all conditions that cause this narrowing of the spine or foramen. Using an endoscopic approach, this technique uses rongeurs, reamers and small-motorized burrs through the endoscope, to selectively remove some bone in order to enlarge the foramen thus decompressing the nerves.
Benefits of Endoscopic Foraminoplasty vs. Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
Surgical procedures to treat back pain or pain resulting from chronic back conditions have come a long way. No longer does a spine surgeon need to make an excision to expose your entire spine and require a long recovery. The major benefit of least invasive surgical procedures (https://www.ispinei.com/blog/the-benefits-of-least-invasive-surgical-procedures/) like endoscopic foraminoplasty is the incision is less than a ½ inch and recovery time is shortened considerably!
- Utilizes an HD camera coupled to an endoscope which provides the spine surgeon a superior view to that of traditional surgical techniques
- No spinal fusion is necessary thus preserving the spinal column and the disc
- Less than a ½ inch – incision minimizes potential skin scarring
- No muscle or tissue tearing, which means less scar tissue and the ability to preserve spinal mobility
- No significant blood loss
- Conscious sedation reduces the risk associated with general anesthesia
- Less postoperative pain and need for narcotic medicines
- Less recovery time needed
- Return to work sooner (As early as one week)
What Conditions Does Endoscopic Foraminoplasty Treat?
- Spinal and foraminal stenosis
- Bulging, extruded and herniated disc
- Failed back surgery syndrome
- Degenerative disc disease
- Sciatica pain
- Radicular pain
- Bone spurs
- Arthritis of the facet or vertebral bodies
How is Endoscopic Foraminoplasty Performed?
Under local anesthesia and x-ray fluoroscopy, a needle, guidewire and blunt dilator are passed through a ½ inch skin incision and through the muscle of the back, between the vertebrae, into the herniated disc space. Next, a 7mm metal tube is placed over the dilator to allow access to the disc. An innovative working channel endoscope is coupled with an HD video camera to enhance visualization for the spine surgeon. Through the endoscope, small, specially designed microscopic instruments are the threaded down the hollow center of the endoscope to remove a portion of the offending disc, facet joint or scar tissue that may be compressing a spinal nerve. A laser and a radiofrequency probe can be used to assist the physician in decompressing the foramen allowing the spinal nerve to function again.
The procedure takes about an hour, on average. You will likely feel minimal pain or discomfort. The incision is secured with a single stitch and bandage. Post-operative, patients usually recover for a few hours and then go home.
Endoscopic foraminoplasty recovery time depends on how well you and your body respond to the procedure. Many patients will feel immediately back pain relief after surgery. Some patients can go back to sedentary work within a week. 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 spine surgeon.
Find relief from your back pain today! For a spine specialist in Baton Rouge, trust the experts at International Spine Institute. Contact us for an obligation-free consultation today!