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Types of Lumbar Disk Surgery

Back view of two vertebrae with part of lamina removed. Instrument is removing part of disk.
Classic diskectomy

Three healthcare providers in surgical gowns, masks, and gloves performing surgery. One surgeon is looking through operating microscope.

Top view of vertebra and disk showing instrument removing disk tissue from the back.
Percutaneous diskectomy

You have a problem disk in your lower back. This disk problem may be corrected with a diskectomy. This is the surgical removal of a portion of a disk. There are three types of diskectomy. Each has risks and benefits. Your surgeon will recommend the type that is best for your back and your health.

Classic Diskectomy. An incision is made in the middle of the back. To see and reach the damaged disk, the surgeon then removes some or all of the lamina. Once the disk is exposed, the surgeon removes the part of the disk that is pressing on a nerve.

Microdiskectomy. This surgery is much like the “classic” diskectomy. But the surgeon uses an operating microscope to magnify, highlight, and view the disk.

Percutaneous Diskectomy. This is an outpatient procedure (usually doesn’t require an overnight hospital stay). The surgeon uses x-ray pictures and a video screen to help reach and fix the damaged disk. Bone removal is not needed.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 1/1/2008
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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