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A microdiscectomy is the specific name for the procedure to alleviate pressure on nerves which are compressed due to a disc herniation. The procedure involves removing a small amount of bone to allow access to the spinal canal. The bone that is removed is not important for the structural support of the spine so removing this bone does not lead to instability or dysfunction. Once the small amount of bone has been removed, it is then possible to remove the herniated disc and other soft tissues around the nerve. The remainder of the disc is left in place to provide motion and stability.