Foraminotomy

Decompression surgery for trapped nerves

Our advanced surgical procedure helps to relieve nerve compression causing pain and numbness in the back and legs

What is a forminotomy?

If you're experiencing trapped nerve pain, your consultant may recommend a foraminotomy. This decompression surgery widens the gap between vertebrae to release pinched nerves and relieve pain. It's a minimally invasive procedure and most patients are discharged the same day.

Need to know

  • What happens during a forminotomy? icon plus


    The neuroforamen are passageways formed on both sides of the upper and lower vertebra. Over time, the neuro-foramina can reduce in size — this means there's less room for the spinal nerves. These trapped nerves can cause pain, stiffness, numbness and weakness.

    The procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. A small incision is made to access the spine and special equipment is used to remove debris from the neuroforamen — bone spurs or thickened ligaments for example. When enough space has been created around the nerve root, absorbable sutures are used to close the layers of skin and muscle.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have. As general anaesthetic is used for this procedure, you may need to fast for several hours before the operation.

    Your consultant will tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After surgery icon plus

    Foraminotomy is usually a routine procedure, and you'll be encouraged to move around after surgery. Most patients stay one night, some go home the same day.

    Your consultant will advise. Patients undergoing a cervical foraminotomy may be given a cervical collar to stabilise the neck.

Our spinal consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic and neurosurgical experts specialising in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine. 

Our locations

From complex spinal surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional spinal care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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