The doctor is going to do a discectomy on me at the L3/4 level. There's some question about how much of the disc should be removed. What's best?

There's quite a bit of debate over the ideal amount of disc to remove in a lumbar discectomy. Doctors are concerned about increased motion at the level where the disc used to be. This may cause disc damage at the next level up or down.

A new study from researchers in Japan and the University of Toledo suggests taking the smallest amount possible. This minimizes the increased range of motion and increased instability that can occur with complete removal.