What are the risks of a discectomy or microdiscectomy?

Hooman M. Melamed, MD

As with any surgery, there are always risks invloved.  With both a discectomy or a microdiscectomy, these risks include: infection, bleeding, nerve damage, reherniation, pain and stiffness among others.  Patients who are overweight and diabetes have higher risks of infection and reherniation.  A microdiscectomy is considered a minimally invasive surgery making the chance for risks or complications significantly less.

One of the more common risks with all patients is reherniating the disc again.  I recommend to my patients to be very careful initially and to participate in a very strong rehab and physical therapy program in order to build up core muscles and minimize the chances of the same injury reoccurring.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.