Minimally Invasive Lumbar Disectomy


A lumbar discectomy is a spine surgery that involves removing all or part of a diseased or damaged intervertebral disc to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve(s) in the lumbar spine, or lower back. In patients for whom it’s appropriate, this procedure may be performed using minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Lumbar refers to the five vertebrae of the lower back. Discs are the spongy, cartilaginous pads between each vertebra, and ectomy means “to take out.” In a lumbar discectomy, the surgeon accesses the lumbar spine through an incision in the back over the vertebral levels to be treated and removes all or part of the disc – and/or in some cases bone material – that’s pressing on the nerves and causing pain. Because it eliminates nerve/nerve root compression, a lumbar discectomy is considered a decompressive spinal procedure.

Depending on your condition and specific surgical goals, your surgeon may choose to perform this procedure using a minimally invasive approach.

Traditional, open spine surgery involves cutting or stripping the muscles from the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery involves a small incision or incisions and muscle dilation, allowing the surgeon to separate the muscles surrounding the spine rather than cutting them.

A minimally invasive lumbar discectomy may be recommended to relieve pressure placed on the spinal cord or spinal nerves/nerve roots. In general, spine surgery is recommended when intervertebral disc or bone material is pressing into or pinching these neural elements and you are experiencing:

  • Leg pain that limits your normal daily activities
  • Weakness or numbness in your leg(s) or feet
  • Impaired bowel and/or bladder function

The information on this web site is for your general educational information only. Please contact Spine Works Institute for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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