Microdiscectomy | Lumbar Surgery & Recovery | MedStar Health

A microdiscectomy is a a type of lumbar surgery that is often used to remove herniated disc material or other damaged portions of the spine, which can cause back or leg pain called sciatica. The procedure, also called lumbar microdiscectomy surgery, can provide nearly immediate relief from pain caused by a herniated disc.

What does microdiscectomy surgery involve?

This surgery involves a special microscope that is used to look at your spinal discs and nerves surrounding the area. This allows your doctor to use a smaller incision in the back during the surgery, which causes less tissue damage and speeds up recovery time. During the procedure, your surgeon will insert a special tool through a small opening in your back, going around the muscles to reach the spinal cord. Then, your surgeon will remove the damaged spinal disc material, relieving pressure on nearby nerves. Lastly, the muscles are moved back into place and your incision is repaired.


After surgery, patients usually remain in the hospital for a few hours before they are released to go home. Your physician will work closely with you and your family to create a personalized recovery plan that is unique to your needs. Your recovery may include one or more of the following:

  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Exercise therapy

What are the benefits of microdiscectomy?

The benefits of microdiscectomy surgery include:

  • Back pain relief

  • Leg pain relief

MedStar Health is proud to offer this surgery. Our experienced spine surgeons offer you the comprehensive care you need to return to your pain-free life. Our spine surgeons are fellowship-trained in spinal surgery and specialize exclusively in caring for neck and back conditions.