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A disc herniation occurs when the soft spongy portion of the disc bulges or ruptures outside of its normal location. This results in pressure and irritation of a nerve root producing sciatica. Patients may report severe, disabling pain, numbness, and weakness in the extremity. When surgery is performed a18-mm incision is made over the disc space involved and a small window in the bone is made with a high speed drill. The nerve root is carefully moved and the disc fragment is evacuated. The procedure lasts 30-45 min and the patient is discharged within a few hours of the operation. Patients generally report significant improvement in their pain almost immediately.