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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. 
Consultant in theatres

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.

  • The Wellington Hospital

    The Wellington Hospital Spinal Unit

    South Building, Wellington Place

    St John's Wood, London

    NW8 9LE

    Call 020 7483 5148

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • The HSC exterior

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London  W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7935 7700
    General enquiries 020 7034 8181

  • HCA UK at The Wilmslow Hospital

    52-54 Alderley Road

    Wilmslow

    SK9 1NY

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 01615 160 961

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street

    London

    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888
    Opening hours 7:30 - 20:00 Monday - Friday

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

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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