Lumbar disc microsurgery is used to treat patients with herniated discs in their lower backs, which occur when the inner, jelly-like material of discs pushes through the outer layer of cartilage and puts pressure on the spinal cord. This procedure removes only the damaged part of the disc, leaving the remainder intact. The surgeon makes an incision into the back through which a small window is made into the bone directly above the herniated disc.
The spinal cord is gently moved aside while the damaged disc material is removed. As the patient heals, the spinal cord returns to its normal position, the pressure from the damaged disc is relieved, and the pain is alleviated.