The spine is a complex set of bones and disks that provide stability and flexibility. The bones in the spine comprise the vertebrae. The discs are the cushions between the vertebrae. Disease or injury can cause discs to herniated (bulge out) and press against the spinal cord and nerves running along it.
When a disc herniates, the soft gel inside the disk pushes through the outer wall of the disk, resulting in severe, sometimes debilitating pain. Patients suffering from this condition may be candidates for the minimally invasive lumbar discectomy, or microdiscectomy, designed to remove all or part of the protruding disk.
- The surgeon makes a small incision and uses a special microscope to see the problem disc or discs and nerves during surgery.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Patients should carefully discuss their individual medical conditions with their physician before undergoing any spinal surgery.