Discectomy, or open discectomy, refers to the removal of herniated disc removal during surgery that is pressing on the spine or a nerve. This surgical procedure requires removing the nucleus pulposus of the disc, which is the portion that causes the pain when it presses on nerves or the spinal cord. There have been a number of advancements in the field and now many alternatives are available to traditional discectomy, including microdiscectomy and laser discectomy.
This surgical procedure is sometimes performed with a laminectomy, which provides access to the disc herniation by removing a piece of bone, called the lamina, from the vertebra.
Fenestration is a procedure that requires an incision in the side of the disc to allow a portion to leak out of the body, reducing the risk of disc rupture in the future as well as possible spinal cord compression.