O'Connell missed seven months of action last season because of a knee injury and made a surprise return in the Heineken Cup for Munster in October.
But after a successful procedure on the bulging disc, the 33-year-old, who captained the British & Irish Lions on their tour of South Africa in 2009, expects to be in action by April.
"I am delighted with the way the operation went," said O'Connell, who also missed Ireland's Autumn International games.
"More importantly, so too are the medical team who carried out the operation and I am very grateful to all concerned.
"My aim now is to start rehab as soon as is practicable.
"In terms of a return, I'd be looking at early April when hopefully Munster will be in contention for trophies on two fronts."