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A lumbar microdiscectomy is a simple outpatient procedure designed to relieve leg pain, numbness or weakness from a herniated or bulging lumbar disc. It generally takes about an hour of actual surgery time. This operation is associated with low complication rates, high success rates and generally has a fairly rapid and tolerable recovery. However, because the operation is minimally invasive, it does have limitations. For example, it generally is not a very good treatment for low back pain – a symptom which often requires more involved surgical procedures.