The human spine can twist and bend easily because of the facet joints present in between the spine disc and vertebrae. The facet joints are the L-shaped joints which support the twisting and bending of the spine. When this facet joint is damaged because of injury or natural wear and tear, it causes severe irritation and traps the nerve surrounding it leading to severe and unbearable pain. Facetectomy is the surgical procedure which is prescribed to patients who want relief from the pressure on the nerve and it is done by removing the bony overgrowths which are causing pain. in most of the cases, physical therapy and over the counter medications can treat the symptoms. But in severe cases, it fails to respond and this is where Facetectomy is prescribed to alleviate the pain and restore your normal activities. The surgical procedure focuses on relaxing the depressed spinal nerve roots and alleviates the pain.
Facetectomy is mainly performed to provide the patients with relief from pain, tingling, numbness and other symptoms which are being caused due to facet joint damaging. Below are the conditions where Facetectomy is prescribed.
Facetectomy is the surgical procedure that involves making an incision in the affected area to expose the spine. The surgeons may also accompany other procedure like laminotomy to partially remove the lamina so as to reach the facet joints precisely. After reaching the facet joint, the surgeon would remove the smallest part of one or both the facet joints to reduce the overall pressure on the compressed spinal nerves. If your surgeon thinks a foraminotomy is required, then they may also perform the procedure in a bid to provide added relieve from the pressure on the roots of the nerve. This ensures to provide ultimate relaxation to the nerve roots and the surgical procedure is successfully completed by closing the incision.
The surgical procedure usually takes 2-3 hours to get completed and patients may get discharged from hospital after 24 hours of observation. Doctors may also make use of Fluoroscopy during the surgical procedure so as to get real-time images of the spine and this enables the surgeons to precisely remove the portion of the facet joints on a bone spur which is putting unnecessary pressure on the never roots. Surgeons may also perform a stabilizing process with the surgical procedure to stabilize it.
Like all other surgical procedures, Facetectomy does have some complications. The complications with the procedure are very less, but it does have some small risk involved and this includes:
Apart from these risks and complications, there are many benefits in undergoing this surgical procedure. The surgical procedure is often performed along with other surgical procedure as mentioned, i.e. foraminotomy or laminotomy. It is performed in conjunction with these procedures to offer the patients with pain relief and this also increases the success rate of the surgery by 90%. So, the benefits offered by the surgical procedure outweigh the risk involved and the risks attached to the surgical procedure alleviate automatically with drugs and therapies post surgery.
The recovery of Facetectomy is faster as compared to all other spine surgeries. However, the recovery period depends on certain factors.
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