10 Secrets Spine Surgeons May Not Tell You!

By Dr. Shahram Rezaiamiri, MD, FACS

When your physician tells you you need to see a Spine surgeon, you may be terrified at first! Spine surgery has been perceived as a scary diagnosis in the past.  Because of unnecessary surgeries and wrong diagnosis, many have major procedures which could have been avoided with a much less invasive spinal procedure.  If you are considering back surgery, educate yourself, and definitely consider a second or third opinion

  1. Laser Spine Surgery gives nearly as good results as a laminectomy, or spinal decompression surgery, and NO INCISION.
  2. Do you REALLY have Degenerative Disc Disease?  Most who are told they have degenerative disc disease, don't really have it!
  3. Your "Spine Surgeon" May Not Actually be a Surgeon at All!  Practitioners such as anesthesiologists, physiatrists, or other pain specialist providers sometimes claim to also be spine surgeons.  These practitioners are not trained to the extent of an actual Spine Surgeon.
  4. Many times...when a Spinal Fusion is recommended...it's unnecessary.  ALWAYS get a SECOND OPINION!
  5. Leg Pain is a Good Thing!  The majority of spinal stenosis patients with leg pain will improve within 45 minutes of the outpatient procedure that does not require a big incision or fusion.
  6. Time is the BEST Treatment!  85% of patients with first time leg or arm pain will improve within 6 weeks of "Time" only treatment.
  7. Back Pain vs. Leg Pain:  With the correct diagnosis, back pain treatment has a 50% success rate as compared to 95% success rate for leg pain.   (Do some surgeons typically overpromise good results for back?)
  8. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is one of the BEST treatment options for back pain.
  9. Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic surgeons BOTH do spine surgery, but Neurosurgeons typically have much more spine training.
  10. Neurosurgeons' practice typically consists of mostly spine cases, NOT BRAIN SURGERY!

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