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Discectomy is the surgical removal of a portion of the disc that is  thought to be causing pain.  The disc may have a bulge (distention) which presses on a nerve root causing leg pain(sciatica).  Removal of the disc bulge is intended to relieve pain.

Colorado Stem Cell Therapy disc bulge - Discectomy:  Nip and Tuck of the Disc

Disc bulge with pressure on nerve root

How successful is lumbar discectomy?  Not particularly.  Loupasis examined  long-term outcomes after lumbar discectomy.

The long-term results of standard lumbar discectomy are not very satisfying. More than one-third of the patients had unsatisfactory results and more than one-quarter complained of significant residual pain.  7.3 % of patients required additional lumbar spine surgery frequently due to repeat herniation.  A predisposing factor to poor surgical outcomes was a job requiring significant physical activity.

Surgery weakens the annulus (side wall of the disc) predisposing the disc to re-injury and herniation as illustrated in this video.

At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic  x-ray guided injections of PRP, platelet derived growth factors and mesenchymal stem cells are non-surgical options for debilitating lower back and leg pain.