A discectomy is a surgery done to remove a herniated disc from the spinal canal. When a disc herniation occurs, a fragment of the normal spinal disc is dislodged. This fragment may press against the spinal cord or the nerves that surround the spinal cord.

Diagnostic procedures may include the following:


Depending on the location of the herniation the following symptoms may occur:

  • ache in the lower back
  • sciatica - pain that travels through the buttocks and down a leg to the ankle or foot
  • pain in the front of the thigh.
  • leg pain occurring in one leg

Pain from a herniated disc may:

  • may be constant or intermittent
  • may get worse when sneezing, coughing
  • may be aggravated by sitting, prolonged standing, and bending or twisting movements
  • may be relieved by walking, lying down, and other positions that relax the spine and decrease pressure on the damaged disc


The surgical treatment of a herniated disc is to remove the fragment of spinal disc that is causing the pressure on the nerve. The traditional surgery is called an open discectomy. In open discectomy the surgeon makes a small incision to remove the herniated disc and relieve the pressure on the nerve. The surgery may also be performed endoscopically where a small scope is inserted into the back. Using a small video camera and x-ray, the surgeon can see and remove the bone fragments.

After Surgery/Recovery

Physical Therapy is a critical part of complete recovery. Our doctors recommend DMC's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, with 30 convenient locations across southeastern Michigan. To find one near you, click here

Non-Operative Sports Medicine Specialists 
Britta Anderson, DO (Offices in Warren, Detroit, Plymouth & Farmington Hills)
Tariq Awan, DO (Offices in Detroit, Warren, Farmington Hills & Dearborn)
Sadiq Haque, DO (Offices in Detroit, Novi, Warren, Farmington Hills & Dearborn)

Expert Spine Physicians
Miguel Lis-Planells, M.D. (Offices in Warren & Southfield)

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