OBJECT Cervical radiculopathy is typically caused by posterolateral disc herniation or spondylotic foraminal stenosis, either of which may compress the ventral aspect of the nerve root. The authors undertook a study to establish the feasibility of performing an endoscopic approach for anterior cervical foraminotomy (ACFor) in a clinical setting. METHODS Application of this method on cadavers was conducted to verify the practicability of this technique. The clinical study included 16 patients (eight men and eight women; mean age 46.6 years) all presenting with unilateral radicular symptoms (one at two adjacent ipsilateral levels), which were associated with various degrees of neck pain. Disc herniations and/or uncovertebral osteophytes were confirmed on magnetic resonance imaging and high-resolution computerized tomography scanning. A total of 17 endoscopic ACFors (one two-level procedure) were performed using a rigid glass endoscope (25 degrees angled, 3-mm diameter, 10-mm length) mounted on a tubular retractor. No major surgery-related complications were encountered. During a mean follow-up period of 13.8 months an average absolute improvement of 44% (p > 0.05) in the neck disability index score and of 96% (p > 0.05) in the visual analog scale score for radicular pain (compared with the preoperative score) was observed. During the follow-up period strength improved to normal in 84% and sensory deficit in 80% of the patients. The overall subjective patient satisfaction rate was 87.6%; the return-to-work rate after 4 weeks was 81.4%. CONCLUSIONS The advantages of endoscopic ACFor include minimial surgical exposure, improved intraoperative visualization, direct decompression of the nerve root, and the preservation of the intervertebral disc and the motion segment.