Cotchery, 29, confirmed to ESPN that doctors shaved off a piece of a disc that was pressing against a nerve Feb. 3.
"It wasn't a good feeling," Cotchery said. "It was pretty painful. I wouldn't want any football player to have to go through that."
Cotchery appeared in 14 games for the Jets last season, starting five. He finished with 41 receptions for 433 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season and was second on the team with 12 catches in the playoffs.
Cotchery missed two games in Weeks 11 and 12 because of a slight groin tear.