Why You Need a Second Opinion Before Spinal Surgery

Having spinal surgery is a significant decision that carries many risks and potential complications. Living in pain makes it easy to agree to any treatment that might alleviate it. However, other treatment options should be explored with surgery as a last resort.
Although it might seem inconvenient, you should always get a second opinion before undergoing spinal surgery. Getting a second opinion before spinal surgery ensures that you make an informed and educated decision about the best treatment option for your back pain.

Potential Risks and Complications With Spinal Surgery

Spinal surgery can come with various risks and potential complications like all major surgeries. These may include:

  • Infection: Anytime someone undergoes spinal surgery, they risk developing an infection in their spine or around their incision. Certain behaviors and conditions, like smoking and diabetes, can increase the risk of infection after spinal surgery.
  • Blood clots: Some patients can develop blood clots after surgery, especially if they have additional risk factors like obesity, diabetes, or smoking.
  • Nerve damage: The spinal column protects the spine, the main nerve in the body that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Spinal surgery carries a risk of nerve damage, which has permanent consequences.
  • No change in pain: Sometimes, surgical outcomes do not occur as hoped or predicted and patients who assume the risks of spinal surgery do not get any pain relief. The same is true for those who experience numbness in their limbs. 
  • More surgery: If the outcome of spinal surgery does not relieve pain or complications occur, patients face the potential of having a second or third surgery.

Spinal surgery is a big decision that carries potential risks. You need a second opinion to ensure that the benefits of spinal surgery outweigh the risks and potential complications.

A Second Opinion Can Lead to Better Outcomes

It’s crucial that you make an informed decision before undergoing spinal surgery. If your doctor has told you that you need surgery, you need to take time to make sure they have your best interest in mind. It’s important that you do not let your pain distract you from truly understanding your condition and all your treatment options.

In almost all cases, surgery is a last resort when other treatment options for back pain have failed. This is especially true when a doctor recommends spinal fusion. A second opinion provides an opportunity to ensure that you have been diagnosed correctly and exhaust all treatment options. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to a different treatment plan.

Another spinal specialist might detect something not included in your initial diagnosis, which might provide an opportunity for a different type of treatment. Diagnosis hinges on experience and the technology available for imaging and surgery.

Contact the Experienced Back and Spine Specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic Today

Back pain can seep into every aspect of someone’s life, making it difficult to sit, stand, sleep, and function. Several non-surgical treatments can help people reduce pain and improve mobility. However, sometimes patients must choose spinal surgery to correct their back issues. The experienced back and spine specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can evaluate your situation and advise you on which treatments are best for you. We are also here for those who are seeking a second opinion. 

NJ Spine & Orthopedic works with various insurance providers and our experienced, award-winning surgeons have taught other surgeons groundbreaking techniques. Contact us online or at (866) 553-0612 to learn more about the best treatment option for your back pain. We treat patients throughout the East Coast in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

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