If your doctor is recommending a surgical treatment for pain from a spine condition, here are 6 important questions to ask before you undergo surgery.

  1. Do you know the specific cause of my pain? Make sure that your doctor has found a well-defined source of pain that shows up on an MRI and through a complete physical examination.
  2. Can surgery help my particular problem? Some back problems respond better to surgery than others. Surgeries to address herniated disks, sciatica and spinal stenosis are routinely more successful than non-surgical treatment.
  3. What is the surgery’s chance of success? A good surgeon should be up front with you about the likelihood that surgery will help your pain form a spine condition.
  4. Why did my non-surgical treatments not work? Before you decide to undergo spine surgery, make sure you have discussed your history of non-surgical treatments with your surgeon.
  5. How many surgeries like this have you performed? You should choose a surgeon who routinely performs the procedure and who concentrates solely on spine surgery.
  6. What will my recovery be like? You need to know how long your recovery is likely to take and what kind of participation is expected of you.