BACKGROUND: Extraforaminal lumbar disc herniation (EFLDH) accounts for 7%-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. We report on a surgical technique for EFLDH, which requires only minimal resection of the facet joint and also allows access to the preforaminal space, if necessary. METHODS: The medical records of 61 consecutive patients treated with disc fragment herniectomy through a facet joint quadrantectomy for EFLDH at the Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel were critically evaluated with respect to preoperative clinical signs and symptoms, surgery-related complications and outcome at 6 weeks after intervention. Patient satisfaction after the surgery was evaluated using the MacNab classification. RESULTS: The prevalence of leg pain decreased from 100% before the intervention to 19.7% at follow-up. Only 9 patients (14.8%) suffered from residual motor deficit at follow-up, compared with 37 patients (60.7%) in the preoperative situation. The postoperative improvement was highly significant for all parameters (P < 0.0001) and this evolution is also reflected in the MacNab classification showing 62.3% excellent, 23.0% good, 13.1% fair, and only 1.6% poor satisfaction. Using logistic regression analysis, only the presence of a preoperative sensory deficit was found to be an independent predictor for excellent patient satisfaction on the MacNab classification. CONCLUSIONS: Disc fragment herniectomy through a facet joint quadrantectomy for EFLDH is a safe and minimal invasive technique resulting in very satisfactory results. Preservation of facet joint stability and the possibility to convert to a classic approach to reach for preforaminal components, if necessary, are major advantages of this technique.