That moment you first hear that you need spinal surgery can be life changing. It is important to consider getting a second opinion from an experienced spine surgeon before agreeing to a course of treatment. Back and neck surgery can provide many patients with relief from chronic pain, but these procedures should never be taken lightly. Getting a second opinion is the best way to get peace of mind and know if you’re making the right decision.
There are a number of conservative treatments to try in the acute stage of back/neck pain, including:
- Physical therapy
- Corticosteroid injections
- Epidural nerve blocks
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Inversion table
- Chiropractic treatments
- Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking
If these conservative care options haven’t reduced or removed the pain after a month, it may be time to seek medical attention.
When to get a second opinion
Both minimally invasive and open spine surgery involve potential risks, making it crucial for you to know if you actually need a procedure or if other solutions can help. In some cases, second opinions can drastically alter the course of treatment. A patient might be told that spinal surgery is the only option for the patient to find pain relief. Whereas, another doctor may tell that same patient that they can start with a more conservative approach or minimally invasive surgery.
These differences in treatment approach have to do with a surgeon’s experience and/or training. Another factor includes the technological tools for imaging or surgery. Not all institutions have the same tools, which leads physicians to make recommendations based on the tools they have.
Get a second opinion from The Spine Pro
Dr. Melamed has seen many patients get invasive surgeries from other surgeons when they aren’t required and still live in pain. He has saved countless patients from having major surgeries, such as spinal fusion. Instead, Dr. Melamed has been able to treat these patients with either an endoscopic or microscopic outpatient decompression approach.
At our practice, we exhaust less invasive surgery and conservative care options before even considering surgery as an option. Surgery isn’t always necessary, and conservative treatment can be just as effective for both patient outcomes and recovery time. In fact, most patients do not require spinal fusion and can take a far less invasive approach to find relief. More importantly, almost all of Dr. Melamed’s patients are treated with a narcotic-free approach where they do not have that much pain after surgery.
Getting a second opinion from Dr. Melamed can help you make sure:
- The potential benefits of surgery outweigh the risks
- You understand the surgery and recovery process
- All conservative options have been exhausted
- You know exactly which type of surgery is right for your condition
- If you qualify for minimally invasive surgery
If you suffer from chronic neck or back pain, and conservative treatments have failed to provide relief, call (310) 730-1787 for a virtual or in-person consultation.