Removal of a prolapsed disc. This is done through a small (~3cm) incision in the midline of the lower back. Very little bone needs to be removed. In my practice an operating microscope is used in all cases.
Decompression of a nerve root for sciatica. The operation will not improve low back pain.
Bleeding, Infection, cerebrospinal fluid leak, neurological deficit including paralysis, incontinence (no bowel or bladder control), no improvement of symptoms, recurrence of a slipped disc at the same level. Overall, the risks are very small (<5%).
24 hours after operation in majority of cases but can be done as a day case.