Cervical foraminotomies are done for focal disc herniations that are compression spinal nerve roots in the neck (cervical spine). Compression of cervical spinal nerve roots can cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms. Typically the symptoms are in a specific pattern in the arm that correlate with a particular nerve.
Minimally invasive cervical foraminotomies are performed through a very small incision in the back of the neck. A small tube is places in between the muscle fibers to preserve muscles, tendons and ligaments. Through the small tube, specialized instruments and microscopes are used to remove a small piece of bone and soft tissue to take the pressure off the nerve. This procedure involves very minimal blood loss, is done outpatient and is sutureless.
Not all patients and procedures are the same. The above is an example of what the typical patient can expect from some minimally invasive procedures.