The top 5 questions about back surgery
A pinched nerve is one key indicator that surgery might help ease your back pain, says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eugene Carragee of highly rated Stanford University Medical Center in California. “If the surgeon tells you something as vague as, ‘You have disc degeneration and we are going to fuse multiple segments in your back,’ that is something to be worried about,” he says. “By the age of 40, all God’s children have some disc degeneration.” Experts recommend getting multiple opinions from either neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons. To find out if you need surgery, we’ve got your back with these questions:
1. What is causing my back pain?
2. Why do you think this procedure will help?
3. Has this surgery significantly reduced pain for your other patients?
4. Will nonsurgical options, even if they take more time, give me similar relief?
5. How soon can I return to my normal activities?