Cervical Endoscopic Foraminotomy
Posterior foraminotomy for posterolateral cervical stenosis is a safe and efficacious alternative to anterior surgical procedures. First described by Scoville and Frykholm in the late 1940s, posterior cervical foraminotomy was for many years commonplace among the surgical armamentarium of most neurosurgeons. It allowed for direct decompression of the stenotic foramen and nerve root while minimizing the risks of injury to the visceral and neurovascular structures of the neck. Perhaps even more importantly, posterior foraminotomy does not result in fusion of the cervical spine, which is particularly important to the younger patient. Over recent years, the popularity of anterior approaches has eclipsed the use of classical posterior foraminotomy techniques. As long-term experience with anterior cervical decompression has grown, so too, however, has the recognition of its many limitations and potential complications.