Types of Lumbar Disk Surgery
Your disk problem may be corrected by a diskectomy, the surgical removal of a portion of a disk. Your surgeon may recommend a "classic" diskectomy, a microdiskectomy, or a percutaneous diskectomy. The basic differences among these disk surgeries are the size of the incision, how your surgeon reaches your disk, and how much of the disk is removed.
To remove the disk material that is causing the pain, your surgeon first makes an incision in the midline of your back. Then, to see and reach the damaged disk, your surgeon removes some or all of the lamina. Next your surgeon removes the disk material that is pressing on a nerve.
Your surgeon may recommend a microdiskectomy to treat your disk problem. This surgery is much like the "classic" diskectomy, except that your surgeon uses an operating microscope to magnify, highlight, and see the disk.
Percutaneous diskectomy is an outpatient procedure that uses x-ray pictures and a video screen as a guide for your surgeon to reach and fix the damaged disk. Because your surgeon can see the damaged disk on a video screen, it's not necessary to remove bone to view and reach the disk.