A microdiscectomy procedure uses minimally invasive techniques to provide relief from pain caused by a lumbar herniated disc. During the procedure, a small part of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material under the nerve root is taken out.
A microdiscectomy (also called a microdecompression) is usually more effective for relieving leg pain (also known as radiculopathy, or sciatica) than lower back pain. There are two common options in an outpatient lumbar discectomy—microdiscectomy and endoscopic (or percutaneous) discectomy.
A microdiscectomy is generally considered the gold standard for removing the herniated portion of a disc that is pressing on a nerve, as the procedure has a long history and many spine surgeons have extensive expertise in this approach. While technically an open surgery, a microdiscectomy uses minimally invasive techniques and can be done with a relatively small incision and minimal tissue damage or disruption.