Foraminotomy and Facetectomy for Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Patients who have a longer history of nerve compression may, however, never be completely symptom free as the nerve damage could be beyond repair. Some numbness, weakness, and altered sensation or pain may persist for these patients. A foraminotomy may also allow a surgeon to perform a partial discectomy to remove disc fragments that have herniated or ruptured and are impinging on the nerves. A foraminotomy is not usually followed by fusion as the spine’s structure and stability is largely unaffected by the procedure.
Rapid Degeneration in Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Due to the high degree of movement in the cervical spine, the development of degeneration in the tissues and bones can occur with alarming rapidity, particularly in the presence of other compromising factors such as acute injury or an inflammatory condition. Where the facet joint itself has become the cause of compression in the cervical spine, the whole of the joint on one side may be removed, or a part thereof. As rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where the synovial joints degenerate, it is possible that the lubrication of the facet joints has been eroded in cervical spinal stenosis, causing the bones to rub together and osteophytes to form. The removal of the facet joint, and subsequent spinal fusion, can help alleviate neck pain from nerve and cord compression and restore the stability of the cervical spine to avoid painful neck movement. Calcified ligaments may be both the cause and effect of facet joint disease and are also likely to be removed during a facetectomy in order to aid spinal decompression.
Alternative Back Surgery Options for Cervical Spinal Stenosis –> ACDF