Minimally Invasive Procedure: Posterior Discectomy

Cervical lamino-foraminotomy, more commonly known as posterior discectomy, is a minimally invasive procedure that provides high turnover rate in reducing radiating arm pain This procedure removes degenerated bone spurs and herniated discs that are compressing the spinal nerve and causing severe arm pain by using a posterior, or thru the back method. Minimally invasive techniques to this surgery are performed via tubular system thru a small incision in the neck, or cervical region.

Some patients of cervical spine disease can experience certain discs weakening, bulging, or rupturing which causes pinching or compression of spinal cord or the more painful nerve roots.  If the bone itself erodes, it then develops spurs which can also lead to spinal cord compression, which usually requires surgical intervention to fix. If this problem goes untended, the patient may experience:

  • neck pain and stiffness;
  • weakness or numbness in the arms and extremities;
  • radiculopathy, or a pins and needles sensation in the arms and hands.

If you experience any of the above, you should see a certified spinal surgeon so they can assess the severity of your condition and conduct the necessary physicals and examinations.  The procedure is performed with the patient lying on their stomach, the surgeon makes a minor incision on one side of the neck and uses specialized instruments to shave down and remove the small amount of bone overlying the disturbed nerve. Once this is done, the surgeon then removes bone spurs near the nerves in the spinal area. If necessary, a microdiscectomy may also be performed at the same time as a foraminotomy to remove any herniated disc that’s pressing on the affected nerves. In-patient recovery time is typically a few hours, with patients usually being discharged same day.  This procedure typically sees a very high rate of symptomatic relief, averaging anywhere from 80 to 90 percent.

To learn more about this procedure, contact Virginia Spine Specialists. Please remember these articles are meant for general education and are not intended to diagnose, prevent or treat a specific disease. Always refer to Dr. Sharma for questions regarding the specific treatment of your symptoms.