A herniated lumbar disc can push on spinal nerves and cause severe, shooting, leg pain, numbness, and/or weakness. Removing part of the herniated disc in a partial discectomy procedure can prevent the disc from irritating the nerve.
An incision is made in the middle of the low back to expose the lumbar vertebrae above and below the herniated disc. Next, surgical instruments are used to remove a portion of the lamina to provide access to the herniated disc.
The herniated portion of the disc is removed. This relieves the pressure on the compressed nerve.
The incision is closed and dressed to complete the surgery. Patients usually notice rapid relief of leg pain; however numbness may occasionally persist for several weeks before fading away. Patients should take care to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks following the procedure.