Percutaneous Discectomy, An Alternative Of Surgery For Herniated Discs

A percutaneous discectomy is a procedure used to removes part of a herniated disc that is irritating a nerve, resulting in rapid pain relief. It is sometimes also called as Dekompressor discectomy because of the tools used in the procedure.

Conditions where percutaneous discectomy can help

The percutaneous discectomy procedure removes disc material which is causing pressure on nerves and pain. It’s usually performed for degenerative disc disease which is one of the most common causes of chronic back and neck and pain and accounts for approximately 10% of all lower back pain complaints. Disc disease (acute herniation) generally results from trauma or more commonly from chronic disease. Degenerative disc disease is a process that is due to degeneration and thinning of the discs over time.

Percutaneous discectomy may also provide pain relief for the following conditions:

  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis with herniation
  • Osteoporosis

Percutaneous discectomy procedure

Percutaneous discectomy is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure which takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Procedure is performed as a larger needle is placed into the affected disc with X-ray guidance. Your doctor places the probe called the Stryker Dekompressor through this needle. The Dekompressor uses a pump method to remove excessive disc material from bulging or contained herniated discs, thus reducing the pressure in your disc in order to relieve pain. You may feel pressure during this part of the procedure, but would not experience pain.


Percutaneous discectomy using the Dekompressor is a lower-risk treatment option for back and neck pain. The procedure might decrease pain, increase mobility, and eliminate the need for traditional surgical options. Rather than just treat symptoms, percutaneous discectomy is designed to correct the underlying problem.

The procedure is minimally-invasive so it causes much less scarring and fibrosis than is commonly associated with other surgical interventions. 93% of patients reported positive outcomes from their lumbar percutaneous discectomy in terms of pain relief and mobility according to a study held in 2018.

Side affects

The most common complain of percutaneous discectomy is mild back pain at the injection site shortly after the procedure. Other more serious but far less common complications include;

  • Spinal cord compression
  • Excessive intracranial pressure
  • Bleeding
  • Hematoma or infection

These particular risks can decrease by the use of X-ray placement and sterile techniques.

Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has great expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions. His center has offering various treatment options including stem cell therapy, amniotic fluid injection and much more.

For further queries call on 815.412.6166