Foraminotomy vs Laminectomy vs Discectomy Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Sugarland, Spring
A foraminotomy is a surgical procedure designed to lower pressure within the spinal canal by enlarging the passageway through which a spinal nerve root branches from the spinal canal. A laminectomy is a procedure to remove a greater portion of the bone (lamina) covering the roof of the spinal canal. A discectomy is a procedure to remove a portion of a herniated disc in the spine, which is bulging and pushing on a nerve. Understanding spine anatomy is important to understanding the difference between the different procedures to relieve pain. The sensitive spinal nerve roots are responsible for transmitting signals for voluntary muscle control as well as relaying sensory information for most of the rest of the body. The spinal discs (shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae) give the spinal nerve roots enough room to exit the spinal canal. Sometimes, however, impact trauma, daily stress on the spinal discs, bone growths, or tumors may create an obstruction for the spinal nerve roots. Patients may experience extreme low back pain and / or decreased mobility if the pathways for the spinal nerve roots are compromised, or if the nerves themselves become compressed due to trauma and disk degeneration. A foraminotomy focuses more on removing a smaller portion of bone where the nerve root leaves the spinal canal. The opening in the spine through which the nerve root leaves is known as the neural foramen, and opening of this area is thus known as a foraminotomy. A laminectomy is a more extensive removal of a greater portion of bone covering the spinal canal. Of note, the neural foramen is an opening created by a roof of the superior articular facet of the vertebral body below, and the inferior articular facet of the vertebral body above. A discectomy is performed by making an opening in the lamina, in order for the spine surgeon to gain access to the disc space, where the herniated or bulging disc is situated, in order to perform a discectomy, free up the nerve root, and alleviate the pain resulting from nerve compression.
There are several different spinal conditions that may prompt a physician to consider a foraminotomy. Degenerative disc disease, a condition in which the natural degeneration of spinal discs is accelerated by other factors, is a possible cause. Herniated (displaced or ruptured) spinal discs, bone spurs, spondylosis / spinal stenosis are all also conditions that may necessitate larger passageways for spinal nerve roots. When there is a more diffuse narrowing of the spinal canal, as is the case with spinal stenosis, a foraminotomy may not be sufficient to decompress the nerves, and a laminectomy may be required. When the source of compression is located centrall within the spinal canal, and is caused by a focal disc bulge or herniation, rather than a diffuse central canal compression, then a discectomy may be a good option. In summary, back surgeries that may be effective for relieving pressure on the spinal nerves are foraminotomies, laminotomies and discectomies, as well as laminectomies.
Since back surgery is often a costly procedure with a lengthy period of post-operative care, patients are advised to seek thorough medical consultation prior to any procedure that may have implications for the spinal canal. If patients are experiencing muscle weakness, sharp or shooting pains down one or both legs, numbness in the extremities, or if their low back pain is not resolved by core strengthening exercises and weight management, physicians will typically recommend a series of spinal imaging tests. X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, and CT scans may all be used to determine whether the integrity of the spinal canal is at risk. Post-imaging, physicians will be much better equipped to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment. Post-operative care will normally include physical therapy that focuses on core strengthening exercise, building the muscles in the torso to assist in managing the stresses of everyday movement.
Physician experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX have significant experience at taking care of patients with back problems, back injuries and other sources of back and neck pain, arm and leg pain. They frequently see patients who are suffering from the symptom of neck pain, low back pain, and mid back pain, and have never received imaging studies of the spine. The physicians have expertise on spine surgery including foraminotomy and laminectomy and discectomy. Physicians at the KBNI will order the appropriate spinal imaging studies of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine as needed, and review the results with the patient.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX takes care of patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.
Patients suffering from neck pain or back pain, or who have been told they may require a spine surgery, can contact the Kraus Back and Neck Institute at
……. Or visit www.SpineHealth.com to schedule an appointment online
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