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A Lumbar Microdiscectomy is performed to remove a prolapsed disc or disc fragments to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve roots. Pressure on the nerve root causes pain radiating into the corresponding side limb.

An x-ray will be taken during surgery and used to confirm the correct level of surgery.

A small cut is made in the middle of the back over the site of the prolapsed disc. With the help of a microscope the prolapsed disc is identified. Once identified, the prolapsed disc or disc fragments are removed from the spine.

The cut is closed with sutures


This procedure will require a General Anaesthetic.

You will be adviced to fast at least 6 hours before surgery.

All blood thinners will need to be stopped for a safe period before surgery (if you have not been adviced please do ask the office for instructions.

Many essential drugs may need to be taken as per routine. Anaesthetist should advice regarding this. If they do not please contact them

Risks of a Lumbar Microdiscectomy

There are some risks/complications with this procedure/treatment/investigation.

Common risks include:

Infection. This may need antibiotics and further treatment.

Minor pain, bruising and/or infection from IV cannula site. This may require treatment with antibiotics.

Bleeding. If bleeding occurs further surgery may be required. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Aspirin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).

Small areas of the lung may collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.

Increase risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.

  • royal-australasian-college-of-surgeons
  • flinders-medical-centre
  • cmc-vellore
  • calvary-adelaide-hospital
  • Neurosurgical Research Foundation