A percutaneous discectomy is a procedure performed when someone has a herniated disc. Percutaneous literally means “through the skin” or using a very small cut. Discectomy is surgery to remove herniated disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord and thereby creating a lot of pain.
A percutaneous discectomy may be performed when:
- Physical exam and diagnostic tests show a bulging disc but the material inside the disc has not ruptured into the spinal canal
- Pain has not improved after 4 or more weeks of nonsurgical treatment
- Pain and other symptoms are disrupting normal daily activities
- There are signs of serious nerve damage in the leg, such as severe weakness, loss of coordination or loss of feeling