A lumbar micro discectomy is a surgery performed to remove a part of the herniated disc that is irritating or inflaming the nerve root. It is performed through a small incision in the midline of the lower back. At first, the back muscles (erector spinae) are lifted off the bony arch (lamina) of the spine. Due to their vertical nature, they can simply be moved out of the way, after which the surgeon enters the spine by removing a membrane (ligamentum flavum) over the nerve roots.
After the nerve root is moved and disc material beneath it is removed; only the herniated part of the disc is removed with the rest left intact. Immediately thereafter, the pressure is completely off the nerve and it is given time to heal.
A herniated disc pressing on the nerve root can lead to immense leg pain, and can often take weeks to months to fully heal. In most cases, patients feel relief from such leg pain almost immediately after a micro discectomy.