Surgery: How to Make Decisions With Your Doctor

How can patients and surgeons make decisions together about back surgery? What feels very painful at first may simply take time and physical therapy or other nonsurgical treatments to overcome. It’s important to assess your situation fully before making a treatment decision, so talk openly with your doctor about the options available.

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Spine Surgeon Weighs In

Spine surgeon Mladen Djurasovic of Norton Leatherman Spine Center says this:

“Some patients’ imagination runs away with them and they think, if this continues, I’m going to end up in a wheelchair or not be able to walk. And that’s generally not the case. With Spinal Stenosis or herniated discs, what we are doing is mostly elective and I try to discuss the natural history of their condition.

Herniated discs, roughly 60-70% will improve with just conservative treatment if you can wait out the pain, and patients will get better.

…The first step in shared decision making with patients is educating patients about the natural history of their disease process.”

Back Surgery or No Back Surgery?

Don’t jump to conclusions about your condition or need for back surgery. Talk with your doctor, explore your options, and make the best decision for your body! In Spine-Talks®, the nation’s top spine experts talk to you about conditions like Sciatica, Herniated Discs, Spinal Stenosis, Spondylolisthesis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Scoliosis, and more.

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We also have a list of surgical and nonsurgical options to assist you in your decision. Acupuncture or injections could be a treatment to consider. By educating yourself, talking with others and assessing options with your doctor, you’ll find the treatment that is best for you. Learn more from our experts in our Spine-Talks® video series.