Cervical Foraminotomy Portland ME

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John T Chance
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Hand Surgery

Data Provided By:
Richard Reed Gramse, MD
(207) 774-0342
1601 Congress St
Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics, Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Loyola Univ Of Chicago Stritch Sch Of Med, Maywood Il 60153
Graduation Year: 1975

Data Provided By:
Dirk Guy Asherman, MD
(207) 828-2100
PO Box 1260
Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1994

Data Provided By:
Dr.Sacha Matthews
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall Street
Portland, ME
Gender
M
Speciality
Orthopedic Surgeon
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

Data Provided By:
Michael A Binette
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery of the Spine

Data Provided By:
Eric Duniway Hoffman, MD
(207) 828-2195
PO Box 1260
Portland, ME
Specialties
Orthopedics
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Duke Univ Sch Of Med, Durham Nc 27710
Graduation Year: 1991

Data Provided By:
Richard Reed Gramse
(207) 774-5113
1601 Congress St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery, Adult Reconstructive Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine

Data Provided By:
Brian J McGrory
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Adult Reconstructive Orthopaedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
John J Padavano
(207) 773-7428
55 Baxter Blvd
Portland, ME
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
George M Babikian
(207) 828-2100
33 Sewall St
Portland, ME
Specialty
Orthopedic Surgery

Data Provided By:
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Cervical Foraminotomy

A Patient's Guide to Cervical Foraminotomy

Introduction

Foraminotomy is a surgical procedure for widening the area where the spinal nerve roots exit the spinal column. A foramen is the opening around the nerve root, and otomy refers to the medical procedure for enlarging the opening. In this procedure, surgeons widen the passageway to relieve pressure where the spinal nerve is being squeezed in the foramen.

This guide will help you understand

  • why the procedure becomes necessary
  • what surgeons hope to achieve
  • what to expect as you recover

Anatomy

What parts of the neck are affected?

The spine is made of a column of bones. Each bone, or vertebra, is formed by a round block of bone, called a vertebral body. The spinal canal is a hollow tube formed by the bony rings of all the vertebrae. The spinal canal surrounds and protects the spinal cord within the spine. There are seven vertebrae in the neck that form the area known as the cervical spine. The vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs.

Traveling from the brain down through the spinal column, the spinal cord sends out nerve branches through openings on both sides of each vertebra. These openings are called the neural foramina. (The term used to describe a single opening is foramen.)

The intervertebral disc sits directly in front of the opening. A bulged or herniated disc can narrow the opening and put pressure on the nerve. A facet joint sits in back of the foramen. Bone spurs that form on the facet joint can project into the tunnel, narrowing the hole and pinching the nerve.

Rationale

What do surgeons hope to achieve?

Foraminotomy alleviates the symptoms of foraminal stenosis. In foraminal stenosis, a nerve root is compressed inside the neural foramen. This compression is usually the result of degenerative (or wear and tear) changes in the spine.

View animation of disc collapse

Wear and tear from repeated stresses and strains on the neck can cause a spinal disc to begin to collapse. As the space between the vertebral bodies shrinks, the opening around the nerve root narrows. This squeezes the nerve. The nerve root is further squeezed in the foramen when the facet joint lining the outer edge of the foramen becomes inflamed and enlarged as a result of the same degenerative changes.

The degenerative process can also cause bone spurs to develop and point into the foramen, causing further irritation. In a foraminotomy, the surgeon removes the tissues around the edges of the foramen, essentially widening the opening in order to take pressure off the nerve root.

Preparations

How will I prepare for surgery?

The decision to proceed with surgery must be made jointly by you and your surgeon. You should understand as much about the procedure as possible. If you have concerns or questions, you should talk to your surgeon.

Once you decide on surgery, you need to take several steps. Your surgeon may suggest a...

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