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Microdiscectomy: Benefits and Considerations for Treating Herniated Discs


Microdiscectomy: Benefits and Considerations for Treating Herniated Discs

A microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat a herniated disc in the spine. This minimally invasive procedure offers several benefits over traditional open-back surgery, including pain relief, shorter recovery time, and a reduced risk of complications. However, it's important to understand the benefits and considerations of a microdiscectomy.

Benefits of Microdiscectomy

  1. Pain Relief: One of the primary benefits of a microdiscectomy is the relief of pain caused by a herniated disc. By removing the portion of the disc that is pressing on the nerve, patients often experience immediate relief of their symptoms.

  2. Shorter Recovery Time: Compared to traditional open-back surgery, a microdiscectomy typically has a shorter recovery time. Many patients are able to return to normal activities within a few weeks of the procedure.

  3. Reduced Risk of Complications: Because a microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive procedure, the risk of complications is typically lower than with traditional open-back surgery.

  4. Outpatient Procedure: In many cases, a microdiscectomy can be performed as an outpatient procedure, which means that patients can go home the same day as the surgery.

  5. High Success Rate: Microdiscectomy has a high success rate in relieving pain and other symptoms associated with a herniated disc. Studies have shown that up to 90% of patients experience significant relief of their symptoms following the procedure.

Considerations of Microdiscectomy

  1. Limited Use: While a microdiscectomy is effective for treating herniated discs, it is not appropriate for all patients. Patients with certain medical conditions may not be good candidates for the procedure.

  2. Possible Complications: While the risk of complications is lower with a microdiscectomy, there is still a risk of complications, including infection, bleeding, and nerve damage.

  3. Limited Mobility: Patients may experience limited mobility following a microdiscectomy, particularly in the first few weeks after the surgery.

  4. Follow-Up Care: Patients who undergo a microdiscectomy will need to follow a strict regimen of post-operative care, including physical therapy and monitoring for any signs of complications.


Microdiscectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that offers several benefits over traditional open-back surgery for treating herniated discs. However, patients should carefully consider the potential benefits and risks of the procedure before deciding if it is right for them. Patients should consult with a qualified healthcare provider to determine if microdiscectomy is appropriate for their specific condition.


  1. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Microdiscectomy.
  2. Mayo Clinic. Microdiscectomy.
  3. Spine-Health. Microdiscectomy (Microdecompression) Spine Surgery.
Yaron Lohr, DC Clinic Director

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