Microsurgical and standard removal of the protruded lumbar disc: a comparative study

D. H. Wilson, Robert Harbaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


The operation of lumbar discectomy has been improved steadily since its introduction by Mixter and Barr in 1934. The present standard operation represents an accumulation of techniques that became available to succeeding generations of neurosurgeons. The addition of microsurgial technique may be the most recent means to refine the process of lumbar discectomy. One hundred cases of microsurgical discectomy were compared to the same number of standard operations, all performed by one surgeon and analyzed by another. The patient profiles were the same; the operative results showed that the standard discectomy was of good quality and that microsurgical discectomy could equal it; in comparing postoperative results, however, microsurgical discectomy was superior to the standard operation: patients returned to their usual activities in half the time. The advantage of the microsurgical technique is its capacity to preserve better the integrity of normal tissue and to impose less trauma on the body. From this analysis, we conclude that microsurgical discectomy represents a small but significant refinement of standard discectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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