Following the lifting of restrictions by the Government, we would like to reassure all our patients that the way we interact with you will not be changing. All staff and consultants will continue to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing, and we require our patients and visitors to do the same, so that we are all protected.

More Information

Lumbar Discectomy

Lumbar discectomy

Lumbar discectomy treatment is the removal of the herniated or bulging part of an intervertebral disc in your lower back. It is performed to relieve the pressure the bulging disc is exerting on nearby spinal nerves.

Nowadays, lumbar discectomy is often performed using minimally invasive surgery called microdiscectomy.

Lumbar discectomy with Ramsay Health Care

Here at Ramsay, our hospitals and their qualified and expert spinal surgeons regularly perform lumbar discectomy as a stand-alone procedure or part of a combination of lumbar spine decompression procedures. 

We perform microdiscectomy whenever clinically appropriate to allow patients to recover from their lower back pain as quickly as possible. We also have qualified physiotherapists and a fully equipped modern imaging service at most of our hospitals.

What is lumbar discectomy?

Your spinal discs are cushion-like shock absorbers for your spine. When a disc slips, herniates, or bulges out of position, it can push on your spinal nerves and this nerve compression causes lower back and leg (sciatic) pain, pins and needles and, numbness in your leg. A slipped disc is the most common cause of lower (lumbar) back pain.

Lumbar discectomy is a type of spinal decompression surgery used to relieve the pressure that a herniated or slipped disc causes as it presses on the nerves in your spinal column. 

A discectomy can be performed by traditional open surgery or using minimally invasive techniques, known as microdiscectomy.

What is a microdiscectomy?

Microdiscectomy, also known as a minimally invasive discectomy, is a discectomy carried out through a smaller incision. It is one of the most common minimally invasive spinal procedures.

During microdiscectomy, a special microscope and tiny surgical instruments are inserted into your lower spinal column through a small incision and the herniated section of your prolapsed disc is removed so that it no longer puts pressure on your nerve. 

The advantages of microdiscectomy over open discectomy are: that it can be performed in an outpatient setting and you can go home the same day, smaller incisions are made, less blood loss, lower risk of infection, a faster recovery and, reduced postoperative pain and medication use.

What conditions is a lumbar discectomy used to treat?

Lumbar slipped disc and sciatica – when your disc becomes worn or injured its soft centre can push out of its normal space. This is known as a slipped or herniated disc and it can press on nearby nerves in your spine causing lower back pain and pain in your legs, known as sciatica.

Degenerative disc disease – as your disc naturally wears, it dries out and shrinks and, loses its cushioning ability, whilst bone spurs form and your facet joints inflame. This can lead to spinal stenosis or disc herniation.

What does lumbar discectomy surgery involve?

Lumbar discectomy surgery is a procedure to remove part of the disc that is pressing on a nerve. It's carried out under general anaesthetic.

In open discectomy your surgeon will make an incision over the affected area of your spine down to the bony arch of your vertebra, called the lamina. They will gently move tissue and the nerve to access your slipped disc and remove the disc part that is pressing on your nerve. They will then close the incision.

Sometimes, depending on your diagnosis, lumbar discectomy is combined with other spinal decompression surgery techniques such as laminectomy and spinal fusion, to allow the best method of creating space for your nerves so that they are not compressed.

Complications following lumbar discectomy surgery

As with any surgery complications may occur including: pain, bleeding, incision site infection, scarring and, blood clots.

Lumbar discectomy is commonly performed and is generally a safe procedure. 

Possible complications specific to lumbar discectomy surgery may include:

nerve injury and paralysis
loss of bladder or bowel control
continued pain or numbness down your leg
infection of the intervertebral disc.

Cost of lumbar discectomy surgery

If you decide to pay for your treatment, Ramsay offer an all-inclusive Total Care package, where a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price, delivering direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance. You can also spread the cost of your treatment with finance options available.

A lumbar discectomy surgery may be covered by your medical insurance policy. We advise you to check directly with your insurance provider and get written confirmation before commencing treatment. 

Recovering from lumbar discectomy surgery

If you have had microdiscectomy you may go home the same day. For open discectomy patients you might have an overnight stay in hospital.

Lumbar discectomy recovery varies from one to four weeks depending on the exact condition being treated, they type of surgery performed and, your general health. You should follow your surgeon’s advices regarding your individual recovery plan.

We are here to help - Contact Us

Find your nearest hospital that provides this treatment

or use my current location

Related Content

The Benefits of Cycling

If you’re looking to up your health and fitness game and want to incorporate a fun activity into your routine, cycling may be the exercise for you. Cycling is low impact yet one of the healthiest aerobic exercises that offers a wealth of potential physical and mental health benefits.

Continue Reading

Ways of Relieving Right Side Back Pain

The causes of right side back pain and methods you can use to relieve it and tips to relieve the pain.

Continue Reading

What to expect from a stay in a private hospital

If you’re considering private treatment then you may be wondering what it’s like to stay in a private hospital.

Continue Reading

The Back-Friendly Way to Sit at a Desk

If those home offices aren’t set up properly however, with the right furniture and support, a lot of people will find that their setup is actually causing them some discomfort and pain

Continue Reading

Sitting vs Standing at Work

The debate between whether standing is better than sitting at work has been going on for years, so we wanted to break things down and look at both objectively to see what truly makes a difference

Continue Reading
how to improve posture

How to Improve Posture

While improving your posture is unlikely to address the root cause of pain, it will help to alleviate muscle tension, and reduce day-to-day discomfort. Read here on how to improve posture

Continue Reading
dairy spine strength

Dairy Increases Spine Strength

Older men who consume more dairy products have higher bone density and greater spine strength, according to a new study.

Continue Reading
physiotherapy benefits

The Benefits of Physiotherapy Treatment

Physiotherapy strengthens muscles and improves function, it is considered one of the most effective treatments for back muscle pain as well as reducing the risk of recurrence.

Continue Reading

11 Ways of Relieving Upper and Middle Back Pain

The causes of upper and middle back pain and methods you can use to relieve it, involving stretches and exercise.

Continue Reading

Choosing Private Health Care in the UK

Why go private? What to look for when choosing private health care? Advantages and costs of private health care.

Continue Reading

Paying for yourself?

Get in touch

Need some advice on a treatment price or booking an initial appointment?

We're here to help.

Or send us a message...