Microforaminotomy is a procedure to enlarge the openings through which spinal nerves pass, with the use of microscopic tools. When these openings become smaller due to injury or other spinal problems, the nerves can become compressed, causing pain and discomfort for patients. Many spinal conditions or injuries can cause the reduction of these openings, and depending on the patient’s specific situation, the procedure may or may not be able to be performed in a minimally invasive manner.
If a minimally invasive approach is suitable, the surgeon uses an endoscope and sophisticated tools to carefully enlarge the openings, using a large screen or microscope to help guide the tools. Hospital stays and recovery time depend on how invasive the procedure is and the patient’s specific health care needs. If a minimally invasive procedure is performed, the patient can usually return to normal activity in a matter of weeks.