This minimally invasive technique is used to remove the herniated portion of a vertebral disc. It is 95% to 98% effective in eliminating leg pain (sciatica) caused by nerve root compression. The procedure is performed though a small incision on the back.
After creating a small incision directly over the herniated disc, the surgeon creates a small window in the lamina (the bone covering the spinal canal). The pinched nerve root and the herniated disc can be seen through this opening.
The surgeon uses a nerve retractor to gently move the spinal nerve away from the herniated disc.
The herniated portion of the disc is removed, eliminating pressure on the nerve root. Only the damaged portion of the disc is removed, leaving any healthy disc material to perform its function as a cushion between the vertebrae.
The tools are removed, and the spinal nerve returns to its normal position. The incision is closed.