An uninformed decision, resulting in a poor surgical outcome, can leave the patient worse off than he or she was before treatment. It may be corrected in many, but not all, cases. Obviously, it is vastly preferable to avoid unnecessary or excessive surgery and, if you have had surgery with a realistically unacceptable outcome, it is imperative to have an accurate appraisal of what can and cannot be done to improve the situation—including more or no more surgery, and the consideration of medication, pain relieving procedures, psychotherapy, physical therapy, ergonomic changes at home and work, weight loss, and an exercise regimen.
Before having any surgery, aside from second surgical opinions, get a second opinion by a non-surgeon – a neurologist who has tremendous experience and reads radiological studies (not just reports) with great expertise, who demands outstanding radiological quality before relying on the studies, who has access to great neuro-radiological consultants (where needed) for their interpretation of studies, who is also highly skilled in pain management and in controlling pain without surgery (but only if appropriate in the long term), whose reputation indicates his or her honesty and ability to direct patients to or away from surgery and, when needed, to excellent surgeons.
For those of you who have been told you don’t need surgery but have not done well with pain management, get a second opinion on this as well. Very few people in pain need to become disabled if treated appropriately in time. Moreover, most Americans, who have been disabled for more than a year, usually do not resume work or regain the socio-economic and psychological well being they experienced before disability.
Within reason, cost of this opinion should not be an issue. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish.
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|New York, NY 10016|
|• Phone (212) 697-1411 or|
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