Back in Action: What You Need to Know About Lumbar Microdiscectomy

Lumbar microdiscectomy


Lumbar microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure used to treat herniated or bulging discs in the lower back. This procedure involves removing a small portion of the damaged disc that is pressing on a nerve root and causing pain.

If your doctor has recommended lumbar microdiscectomy, it's important to understand what the procedure entails, what to expect during recovery, and any potential risks and complications.


Lumbar microdiscectomy is typically performed under general anesthesia but it can also be performed with local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. The procedure usually takes about one hour. The surgery involves the following steps:

  1. Incision: A small incision over the affected area of the spine.

  2. Access: Specialized instruments to remove a small portion of the lamina, which is the bone covering the spinal canal, to access the damaged disc.

  3. Removal: The damaged portion of the disc that is pressing on the nerve root is carefully removed.

  4. Closure: The incision is closed with sutures.


Recovery time after lumbar microdiscectomy varies depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery. Most patients are able to go home the same day as the surgery.

After the procedure, you may experience some pain or discomfort at the site of the incision. Medication to manage pain is usually prescribed. You will need to avoid strenuous activity, bending and prolonged sitting.

Physical therapy is usually recommended to help improve your strength and flexibility. It's important to follow instructions carefully during the recovery period to ensure a smooth recovery.

Risks and complications

As with any surgical procedure, lumbar microdiscectomy carries some risks and potential complications. These include infection, nerve damage, hematoma or recurrent disc herniation. 


In conclusion, lumbar microdiscectomy is a surgical procedure that can provide relief for patients with herniated or bulging discs in the lower back. It is important to fully understand the procedure, recovery, and potential risks and complications. With proper care and follow-up, lumbar microdiscectomy can help improve your quality of life and reduce pain.

Remi Ajiboye MD Remi Ajiboye MD Remi M. Ajiboye M.D. is a spine specialist who is trained in non-surgical and surgical management of spine conditions. He has advanced training in minimally-invasive spine surgery and complex spinal reconstruction.

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