By Dr. Shahram Rezaiamiri, MD, FACS
AllSpine Laser & Surgery Center
If you are facing potential back surgery, please be sure to ask these very important questions before committing to the surgery. Unfortunately in many cases, major surgery is performed when it is not absolutely necessary and without exploring less invasive options, that in many cases fix the problem. Dr. Shahram Rezaiamiri explains some crucial questions every patient should ask before going under the knife.
- What is the success rate of back surgery for back pain? If you hear numbers over 60 to 70% then RUN!
- Ask your surgeon what's the difference between back pain and leg pain from disc herniation. The answer should be: the two are much different! Back pain from disc herniation is a hard diagnosis to make, not clear, hard to treat and in most cases, best left alone. Leg pain from disc herniation is easier to diagnose, easier to treat (success rate of 90%), more likely successful and after 3-6 months of waiting, therapy, etc... It should be treated surgically in most cases.
- What are some alternatives to surgery? Answer should be injections, physical therapy, rest; pain pills including narcotics, tens unit, traction, topical creams, and bracing.
- If you have more leg pain than back pain, then ask your surgeon how he is going to treat it. If you hear FUSION then RUN!
- Most patients get better with time (6-12 weeks from the onset of pain). If your leg pain can be controlled without surgery (no significant weakness, tolerable pain) and it's not 3 months yet and your surgeon wants to do surgery, then ASK YOUR SURGEON to get your films/CD back!!
For more information and to visit one of our locations in Stockbridge, Newnan, Fayetteville and Buckhead, Georgia or call (770) 997-0600