I generally assume that an “aggressive lateral discectomy” at L3-4 is a far lateral discectomy at this level. However, the statement “and when complete, a ball probe was passed out into the neural foramen and along the exiting L4 nerve root without any compression” means something different to me.
To pass a probe “out” into the foramen generally means that you are in the canal and going “in to out”. This means that this was not a far lateral discectomy but a standard posterolateral approach at L3-4.
The L4 nerve exits the canal at the L4-5 level at the foramen, so there must be some error in dictation. The nerve that leaves the canal at L3-4 is the L3 nerve.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.