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Laminoforaminotomy....It's a "mini" Laminectomy using Windows Technique

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
I joined the forum yesterday and my first post was to see if anyone had a procedure done called a "Laminoforaminotomy"... there were no responses, so I Googled it...from what I read it's a mini Laminectomy...The Dr. expained it this way....a small (1- 1 1/2" incision is made in the back....then the muscles are pulled to the side exposing the spine and the trouble spot. Then he pulls the nerves aside and removes whatever is pinching the nerve (some lamina I guess, and any spurs..etc) This is called using the "Windows Technique"..then a few stiches and the procedure is over. I'll stay one night in the hospital and go home next day...I'm to take it very easy for 2 weeks or so (he did say to walk a lot)...then gradually start doing other things, but being careful....after 6-8 weeks I should be back to doing all regular activities.....This is my first back surgery, and I'm a little nervous, but my leg pain has been so severe at times that I feel I have no option but this surgery....I would appreciate any feed back from anyone out there who has gone though anything like this...thanks in advance.


  • The purpose of this procedure is to clean out one of your foramen. Part of the lamina has to come off to better expose the foramen, so the surgeon can see where he is working.

    The foramen is supposed to be an opening that allows the nerves to exit from the spinal chord. For a variety of reasons, it can get clogged up with stuff like bony overgrowth. If it becomes too clogged, there is not sufficient room for the nerve to pass, which results in nerve compression. This usually results in a sciatic type pain, such as you describe. After exposing the foramen the surgeon will use a very narrow tool that will scrape away the bony overgrowth. Think of it as a roto-rooter for your spine.

    I had this procedure about a month ago. I didn't respond to you initially because I was afraid I might give you an inaccurate impression of the surgery.

    I had a lumbar fusion last January which was considered a success, but still left me with leg pain. After switching surgeons, and numerous more conservative treatments, we decided to try the foraminotomy. After having had a fusion a year ago, this procedure was so very easy...but I know it is all relative. So read the following and take it for what it is worth.

    I was in the hospital less than 24 hours and did not need any pain medication. As a matter of fact, I felt so good that the real problem was trying to keep me from overdoing it. You are wise to plan on taking it easy for 2 weeks -- don't be in a hurry to drive or even ride in a car too early. If you can stay around your house and basically limit your activities to resting and walking for the first 10 days to two weeks, you should be in good shape. By then you are well on your way to healing the surgical site, and the nerve should be calmed down by then.

    If you do too much during this early period, you run the risk of further irritating the nerve and causing it to become more inflamed. This will really slow your recovery...so try to take it easy, if at all possible.

    I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

    xx Gwennie
  • Gweenie.....Thanks so much for the reply...I remember the Dr. saying your exact words that the procedure is a "roto-rooter"...so I guess we're talking about the same thing....I will take your advise (and the doc's) to take it very easy the first 2-3 weeks for sure..then gradually start doing more. I don't get the procedure done until the end of March, so I've got a miserable month left...After the procedure I will post with info for others...thanks again....steve
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  • Gwennie:

    Where were you when I had this procedure done? I often wonder would my outcome have been different had I heeded my doctor's suggestions to take it easy? After having felt so bad for so long, then waking up after surgery and feeling so good - I never looked back. The difference was night and day. Black and white. While I consider the surgery a success, I am still experiencing other pain.

    I went back to work after 2 weeks. I was shopping at Wal-Mart (can I say that here?) after about 10 days... I just felt so much better than pre-surgery that I thought I could resume all the activities I had missed out on while experiencing excruciating pain, using a cane to walk, not being able to stand up or sit down straight... If at all...

    Would I have permanent nerve damage and all my other problems if I had taken it easy, rather than over-doing almost from the get-go?

    Guess I'll never know.

    Woodysdad - take it easy and follow the doctor's orders TO A "T"! My husband broke his ankle, had internal fixation, and followed all of his doctor's orders; now he's back at work, climbing towers and whatever it is he does at the plant. So, be sure to come back slowly, so you can come back surely.

    I am wishing you lots of luck and a quick recovery.

    Take care!

  • bruce659bbruce659 Posts: 2
    edited 12/08/2013 - 2:16 PM
    I will have it in February., if anyone who reads this tell me you're outcome please!

    I would appreciate it
    bruce fisher
  • i am sure that you will find your time on spine-health very rewarding. this site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    here are just some of the highlights:

    - spine-health contains detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal conditions and treatment

    - the wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - under the resource tab, there is a section doctor advice health center which can be invaluable.

    - as a bonus, spine-health provides these patient forums. here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. you will soon become part of the spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. you are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 international members and growing daily.

    - it is very important to understand the forum rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - as a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. you should read forum faq

    here are some links you should take a look at:
    read before you post
    tips for newcomers
    understanding the rules

    all of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

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    if you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the private message facility to contact any one of the moderators on my team:






    just a word of caution, it is not wise to put your email address out there in the public unless you want to become inundated by spam. you , as part of your membership at spine health are given a private message box , so that you can communicate with other members if you wish to .
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  • it was easy as pie., cost 80k for anyone interested.
    bruce fisher
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