The human spine is made up of bony vertebrae that are separated by flat, round, intervertebral disks that provide crucial cushioning between the bones. A herniated disk occurs when a disk’s soft center bulges out through the tough, outer rings of the disk and makes contact with a spinal nerve, causing radiating pain that can travel down the arms or through the buttocks and legs. In severe cases, this spinal compression can even cause loss of bladder or bowel control. While they are often very painful, herniated disks are quite common and are usually treated non-surgically via oral and injected pain medications and physical therapy that includes targeted exercises. When such treatments fail to bring relief from a patient’s symptoms or if neurological deficits are involved, spinal decompression surgery may be provided via a discectomy or micro-discectomy procedure.