What happens during lumbar microdiscectomy (LMD) surgery?

During lumbar microdiscectomy (LMD) surgery (a procedure to remove diseased or damaged disk material away from spinal nerves):

1. An anesthesiologist will put you to sleep so you will not feel or remember the surgery. You will also be given antibiotics to help prevent infection.
2. You will be placed on your stomach so the surgery can be done from your back, at or near your spine.
3. The surgeon will make a small incision (cut) in your back, and move muscle out of the way to expose your spine.
4. The surgeon will make a small opening (laminotomy) in your spine. Usually this is done by removing bone with a small drill.
5. Using a microscope, the surgeon will identify the nerves and the disk.
6. The surgeon will remove abnormal disk material that is pressing on your nerves and leave healthy disk in place.
7. When the surgeon is satisfied that all pressure on the nerves has been removed, the wound will be closed with stitches.
8. Your surgeon may put a steroid medication on the nerves to help prevent irritation from the surgery.

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