Percutaneous Discectomy

Percutaneous means “through the skin” or using a very small cut. This is a surgical procedure in which the central portion of an intervertebral disc is accessed and removed with the help of a cannula. That specific portion is removed which either is pressing on a nerve root or on the spinal cord.

How is it performed?

There are many different procedures of Percutaneous Discectomy. All of them are performed by inserting small instruments between the vertebrae and into the middle of the disc. The procedure is carried out by providing local or general anesthesia to the patient. Surgeons take help of x-rays to monitor the movement of instruments during surgery. The surgeon can remove the disc tissue by:

  • Cutting it out
  • Sucking out the center of the disc
  • Using lasers to burn or destroy the disc
  • DEKintro

Who are the candidates?

Percutaneous Discectomy is widely used for patients with small contained herniations. It may also be promising for patients with large contained (non-ruptured disc) herniations for whom open surgery is not considered an apt treatment.

How long it takes?

The entire procedure might take either 20 minutes or 1 hour to complete.


Patients typically feel pain after the procedure and are advised to avoid lifting and strenuous exercise for a period of time. He/she will be able to resume the normal work after a week or two. Physical therapy is usually prescribed by doctors, so that the patients become perfectly active. After the treatment, it is also recommended to avoid long periods of sittings, bending, twisting and lifting for several weeks.


The patients who respond to this procedure very well, leg and herniated disc pain is expected to diminish within weeks.