Minimally invasive disc surgery. Nucleotomy versus fragmentectomy

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1997 Apr 1;22(7):827-8; discussion 828-30. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199704010-00024.


There is continued debate as to the optimum surgical management of a herniated disc with sciatica. There are proponents of conventional microdiscectomy as well as those who advocate minimally invasive approaches, including central disc decompression or nucleotomy as well as arthroscopic lumbar microdiscectomy and fragmentectomy. In this controversy (I), Dr. Gary Onik takes the position that central disc decompression is both safe and efficacious and may be the procedure of choice for recurrent disc herniations (II). Dr. Parvis Kambin takes the opposing position and advocates arthroscopically assisted fragmentectomy as the procedure of choice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diskectomy / methods*
  • Diskectomy / standards
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / surgery*
  • Sciatica / surgery*