Disc herniation with radiculopathy and chronic discogenic pain are the result of degenerative processes. Treatment approach in face of this problem has largely been debated in the last years. A number of reviews on surgical treatments in the '80s and '90s have been published and various new techniques have been introduced among which ozone discolysis is one non-invasive intradiscal treatment method. In a 3-year follow-up period we have investigated the different outcomes of 150 patients who received microdiscectomy and 150 patients who received intradiscal ozone injection. In this series results are in favour of discolysis for contained disc herniations and of microdiscectomy for large migrated fragments with pain so severe that open surgery was obligatory. Apart from this, our results with the two techniques are equivalent also concerning mild neurological motor deficits.