View visitor information during the COVID-19 pandemic »

Hospital  >  Departments  >  Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences  >  Welcome to Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences

Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures



The discs are the cushions between each of the vertebrae. When a disc herniates it escapes from its normal position and will pinch the nerve next to it. Treatment removes that portion of the disc that is herniated in order to decompress that nerve. A small incision is needed and removal of a very small amount of bone required to see the nerve root and herniated disc. A microscope is used for magnification and light and hence allow for a minimally invasive approach. Microdiscectomy is performed as an outpatient procedure.

The purpose of a microdiscectomy is to relieve your leg pain or sciatica. Back pain can be associated with a disc herniation or may be due to degeneration of your disc. The procedure to remove your herniated disc will not be a cause of back pain anymore than what you already have. After surgery and a short period to allow the muscles to heal, your back pain caused by the surgery will improve. Exercise, weight loss and muscle strengthening is required for further treatment of your back pain. We do not prescribe any restrictions after 6 weeks following microdiscectomy.

Visit the Sunnybrook Spine Program