Some spinal surgeons may prefer the posterior approach (from the back of the neck) for a cervical discectomy. This approach is often considered for large soft disc herniations that are lateral to (to the side of) the spinal cord. The principal advantage of the posterior approach is that a spine fusion does not need to be done after removing the disc. The principal disadvantage is that the disc space cannot be opened with a bone graft to give more space to the nerve root as it exits the spine. Also, since the posterior approach leaves most of the disc in place, there is a small chance (3% to 5%) that a disc herniation may reoccur in the future.
The general procedure for the posterior cervical decompression (microdiscectomy) surgery is: