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posterior foraminotomy question

Hey guys,

so i'm about to get a procedure for my C5-C6 disc herniation. i'm having a cervical lamina foraminotomy done. I was told that my neck muscles will be cut from the bone and that is what really makes the recovery as long as it is. I was also told that it will cause a lot of discomfort and pain. I am also aware that there is a tubular approach where different size tubes get put in. my question is whether or not doing the tubular approach by passes the cutting of the muscle which would significantly better my recovery.

any help will be appreciated



  • joshkim178,
    Just had a Posterior Foramintomy 2 weeks ago.In pre-op I asked my surgeon if he uses the tubular approach and his response was he does not, because he has heard of a few cases where it caused paralysis in the patient and he does not like to take that risk, although it is rare. So he just goes in with a very small instrument without the tube and says it is just as effective, and my incision is only about 2 inches long. Can't tell you if this is the modern trend or if most neurosurgeons prefer this approach, it may be a case of individual preference among surgeons. Just telling you what he told me.
  • How has your pain been since the surgery? are you still on pain killers? are you back at work? I'm just trying to find the best approach so I can go back to work as soon as i can. I also am scared of being in intense neck pain after surgery
  • The first few days are rough because the neck muscles the surgeon disturbed just to get to the vertabrae were stiff and sore. It was hard to lift my head and get out of bed. But it slowly got better and after a week or so I started to get up and go out a little, nothing strenuos but just had to move around and get out of the house. I still have some numbness in my left upper back and a burning pain when I bend over or twist my neck in a certain position, and it's hard for me to hold my head up without support for more than an hour or two, but I am off hydrocodone now. But I'm still not ready to sit at my computer at work for 8 hours holding up my neck. But fortunately in my job I have the ability to work remotely from home, which I am starting on Monday half-time, which will be 18 days after my surgery. Gonna try half-time work from home for a few weeks and see if I'm ready to go back full time. I have a rather large-sized head on a small to medium upper body frame, so maybe my recovery is going more slowly, so yours may be completely different. But you should plan for at least a couple weeks off of work. I still don't know if this is going to completely solve my neck issues, but I can tell already that the radiant pain in my arm is a little less than it was pre-surgery. Good luck with your surgery, and let me know if I can be of help with any more questions.
  • are you off the pain meds and muscle relaxers yet? I also work in an office but I do have to move around a lot and move my head too. I was hoping to go back full time to work in 3 weeks but I'm wondering if thats a complete long shot. If so, I would request some more time off. I cant imagine just staying at home for more than a week without going crazy
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