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Percutaneous Spine

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Your spinal disc is a soft tissue that creates a cushion between the bones of the spine (vertebrae). Discectomy is back surgery to remove all or part of your spinal disc.

Minimally invasive back surgeries offer fewer complications and revisions, and more rapid recoveries. 

When is Discectomy Used to Treat Back Pain?

Doctors use discectomy to remove ruptured, degenerated, or herniated discs that are causing:

  • back or leg pain, numbness, or weakness that does not improve with other treatments within six weeks 
  • inability to control your bladder or bowels due to nerve damage or compression
  • problems with performing daily tasks, such as walking

What to Expect During Percutaneous Discectomy & Disc Removal Surgery

Your discectomy will take place in a Dignity Health surgery center or hospital. Your specific procedure will determine whether you will receive general or spinal anesthesia.

Traditional discectomy is an open surgery that requires a 2- to 4-inch incision down your back. Talk to your doctor about whether a percutaneous discectomy is an option for you. This minimally invasive procedure may result in a smaller incision, less pain, faster recovery, and fewer complications.

Recovering After Discectomy

Your recovery will start by spending a few days in a Dignity Health hospital. Full recovery can take up to eight weeks. You may need extra recovery time before returning to a job that requires heavy lifting or operating heavy machinery that vibrates, such as a jackhammer.

Ask your doctor how physical therapy can help you recover and prevent future back pain.

Learn More

For more information, please view our Minimally Invasive Surgery page, or call us to Find a Doctor.