Microdiscectomy, also sometimes called microdecompression or microdiskectomy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed on patients with a herniated lumbar disc. Typically performed for a herniated disc, a microdiscectomy relieves the pressure on a spinal nerve root by removing the material causing the pain.
Using modern microdiscectomy techniques, the surgeon is able to minimize the extent of the operation and potential for tissue damage by using a standard incision of 1 to 1.5 inches and focusing the tissue dissection on spreading the muscles and ligaments rather than cutting them.
Targeting techniques using fluoroscopic guidance minimize the incision necessary to gain a direct view of the surgical field. Magnification allows improved visualization of the nerve sac and the disc herniation. Bayoneted instruments allow precision manipulation of tissues without obstructing the direct view.