Diskectomy Laminectomy Spinal fusion Spine stabilization and reconstruction Stereotactic spine radiosurgery Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, Spine surgery


Diskectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove the damaged portion of a spinal disk whose soft center is pushing through its tough exterior lining. A herniated disk has the potential to irritate or compress nearby nerves. Diskectomy is most effective for treating arm or leg pain caused by a compressed nerve. The procedure is less effective in treating back and neck pain. The majority of individuals suffering from back or neck pain find relief through alternative treatments, such as weight loss, arthritis medication, or physical therapy.

If other nonsurgical treatments have failed or if the patient’s symptoms worsen, the doctor may recommend a diskectomy.

Diseases treated with Diskectomy

A diskectomy is performed to relieve pressure on a spinal nerve caused by a herniated disk (also known as a slipped, ruptured, or bulging disk or disk prolapse). A herniated disk occurs when some of the softer material within the disk protrudes through a crack in the disk’s outer lining.

A medical professional may recommend diskectomy if:

  • Nerve weakness causes difficulty standing or walking
  • After 6 to 12 weeks, conservative treatment, such as physical therapy or steroid injections, fails to improve symptoms
  • The pain spreads to the buttocks, legs, arms, or chest and becomes intolerable

The spinal nerve compression may also cause sciatica. As the hernia progresses and the damaged tissue spreads into the spinal column, it exerts pressure on the nerves. The nerves then transmit pain signals to the brain. The legs are believed to be the source of the pain. In a few weeks, the majority of sciatica cases will heal naturally without surgery. If sciatica pain lasts longer than 12 weeks, a diskectomy may be beneficial.

Types of Diskectomy

There are multiple methods for performing a diskectomy. Numerous surgeons favor minimally invasive diskectomy (microdiscectomy), which involves small incisions and the use of a microscope or miniature video camera to observe the procedure.

Patients with a herniated lumbar disc undergo microdiscectomy, also known as microdecompression or microdiskectomy, which is a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

Another type, laser diskectomy, is an outpatient procedure in which a needle is inserted into the disk space in a single step. The laser burns the nucleus pulposus rather than removing material from the disk. Laser diskectomy is minimally invasive and devoid of postoperative pain syndromes; as a result, it has gained popularity in a variety of clinics.

Preparation for Diskectomy

The eligibility for diskectomy is determined by imaging tests. Computed tomography enables enhanced visualization of the vertebrae, whereas magnetic resonance imaging depicts the spinal canal’s structures. Before surgery, you will likely be required to abstain from eating and drinking for a period of time. If you take blood-thinning medications, your dosage may need to be adjusted prior to surgery. Your physician will provide you with specific instructions.

Diskectomy Procedure

The operation is performed under general anesthesia. Throughout the entire procedure, you will be unconscious and unable to feel anything. The patient is positioned face-down for the procedure. The method is as follows:

  1. Directly over the affected disc, a 1- to 1-1/2-inch incision will be made.
  2. Your surgeon will use a microscope with illumination to view the affected area.
  3. The surgeon may remove a small portion of bone protecting the nerve root.
  4. Your surgeon will use a scissor-like instrument to remove the damaged herniated tissue, relieving pressure on the nerve.
  5. The incision is stitched closed.
  6. Typically, the patient is discharged the same day or the following morning.
  7. Now that the spinal nerve has adequate space within the spinal column, any pain caused by nerve compression should cease.

The recover period for the diskectomy is shorter compared to other, more invasive procedures. The majority of patients can anticipate leaving the hospital the same day, or within 24 hours.

Before leaving the hospital, you will likely meet with a physical therapist and an occupational therapist. These therapists will teach you how to reduce the amount of bending, lifting, and twisting you perform with your back. During the first week or two of recovery, you may need to reduce your workload or be absent from work. Additionally, you must avoid lifting heavy objects for two to four weeks after surgery. If your job requires heavy lifting or the operation of heavy machinery, you may be unable to return to work for 6 to 8 weeks.

Benefits of Diskectomy

Most people with clear signs of a compressed nerve, such as radiating leg pain, find relief from herniated disk symptoms through diskectomy. However, relief from a diskectomy may not be permanent because it does not treat the underlying cause of the disk injury or herniation. To prevent re-injury of the spine, it may be beneficial to maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, engage in low-impact exercises, and limit repetitive bending, twisting, or lifting.

Best Hospitals for Diskectomy

Based on your condition, requirements, and, in some cases, genetics, our network of specialists can offer you a variety of treatments for spine surgery. Together, they will select a course of treatment that ensures you receive the therapy with the highest success rate and fewest side effects.