Cervical Foraminotomy

What is Cervical Foraminotomy?

Cervical Foraminotomy is a surgical procedure used to relieve pressure on spinal nerves by widening the area around those nerves.

A foraminotomy is a surgical procedure performed to relieve pressure on spinal nerves as they exit the spine through an opening known as the foramen. When this surgery is performed in the neck region, it is known as cervical foraminotomy. This is a minimally invasive procedure for widening the area where the spinal nerve roots exit the spinal column.

Who needs a Cervical Foraminotomy?

Cervical Foraminotomy is suggested for patients who have bone spurs or herniated discs that are causing cervical nerve root compression. Symptoms of cervical nerve root compression include pain in the neck and shoulders. Pins and needles, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hands and arms are also symptoms.

Your healthcare provider can review the exact symptoms and causes that apply to you and why you may be a candidate for the anterior cervical discectomy with fusion. 

Cervical foraminotomy is utilized only if the conservative treatments have failed to relieve the pain, or…

          • If there is evidence of severe weakness
          • If the pain in the arm is so severe that narcotic analgesia fail to control the pain
          • If there is a suggestion of spinal cord compression and myelopathy

What Happens After the Surgery?

Usually the patient can get out of his or her bed within an hour or two after the surgery. The surgeon may advise you to wear a soft neck (cervical) collar. We will instruct you to move your neck very carefully and comfortably.


In most cases, patients can leave the hospital the day after surgery. Patients are usually safe to drive within a week or two. They can get back to light work by four weeks. They can take part in heavier work and sports within two to three months after the surgery.

This material is intended to give the patient an overview of surgical procedures and treatments and is not intended to replace the advice and guidance of a physician. Always consult with your doctor about the particular risks and benefits of your treatment.

Request an Appointment.

Please call our office at 816-363-2500 to make an appointment. Don’t forget to bring your imaging studies with you.