A discectomy is a procedure in which the material is removed from a herniated disc to relieve pressure on spinal nerves.

To get a better understanding of the above procedure, here is a brief summary of the spine anatomy. The spine is broken down into three main sections, the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. Each section of the spine contains bones called vertebrae that are connected together by gel like structures called intervertebral discs. There are delicate nerves that run up and down the spine combined with tendons and a group of strong bands called ligaments. The gel-like structures inside the intervertebral disc is called a nucleus. Old age, constant repetition, or a traumatic blow could cause the nucleus material to leak out of the disc or herniate. Once herniation occurs, pain may result, because the nucleus material may spill out far enough to reach a nerve. An additional condition that could weaken the spine is called stenosis. Stenosis occurs when excessive bone growth or thickening tissue reduces the size of spinal vertebrae causing the spinal canal to narrow and apply pressure to nerve roots.

Compressed spinal nerves produce varying amounts of pain sometimes felt in lower back and legs. Numbness and tingling sensation may soon follow a simple task as walking may become a burden.

Most spinal problems are diagnosed using an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). An MRI can provide detailed information about bones and the surrounding areas.

Tower Orthopaedics specialist may sometimes perform a minimally invasive discectomy to relieve spinal nerve pressure from a herniated disc condition. Minimally invasive techniques involve using small instruments through a tiny insertion of the skin to perform spinal surgery. The small instruments usually contain an endoscope which the surgeon can use to illuminate and magnify the operating field through the small incision. Images from the endoscope are projected on a large screen which gives the surgeon a clear view of the diseased area of the spine. Using small specialized instruments the surgeon can remove tissue causing nerve compression.