What is a microdiscectomy?

A microdiscectomy is a type of surgery in which all or part of a herniated disc is removed from the spinal column. It is most effective for treating symptoms that are unresolved by conservative measures.

How is a microdiscectomy performed?

A microdiscectomy typically involves a small incision over the level of the herniated disc. The muscles are moved to the side, allowing access to the lamina, a bone at the back of each vertebra. A small amount of bone is trimmed from the lamina to create a space between the two adjacent vertebrae. The disc is visualized through a microscope and the rough edges are smoothed down. Protruding or extruded disc material is removed.

How long is a microdiscectomy?

On average, a microdiscectomy takes one to two hours.

How long is the hospital stay after a microdiscectomy?

It may be possible to go home on the same day of the procedure. If you have a cervical discectomy, a hospital stay may be necessary.

What spine conditions is microdiscectomy used for?

Cervical, thoracic and lumbar disc herniations

What are the risks of microdiscectomy?

Risks are present with any surgical procedure. For patients undergoing a microdiscectomy, risks can include but are not limited to a lack of relief from symptoms, wound infection, durotomy/cerebrospinal fluid leak, disc re-rupture/herniation, missed disc fragments, post-operative hematoma, cauda equina syndrome, wrong-level surgery and nerve damage.

Interested in learning more about a microdiscectomy?

Schedule a consultation online or call 206-320-BACK (2225).