Spine Surgery

November 17, 2016

Do You Need a Second Opinion Before Undergoing Back Surgery?


Back surgery can provide you with relief from chronic pain, but these procedures should never be taken lightly. Knowing when you should get a back surgeon’s second opinion will help you confidently pursue the best treatment option.

Spinal fusion and other types of back surgery can repair damaged discs and other spinal problems that cause chronic pain. Both minimally invasive and open spine surgery involve potential risks, making it crucial for you to know whether you actually need a procedure. Discussing your recommended treatment options with an Arkansas back surgeon is a great way to resolve any lingering doubts you may have. Ask yourself the following four questions to decide whether getting a second opinion before back surgery is a wise choice for you.

Can You Trust the First Opinion?
If you have doubts about a surgeon’s knowledge or skills, seek a second opinion before going through with surgery. A surgeon’s credentials and ratings are often available online, so you can research whether other patients have questioned a surgeon’s experience or even had negative results after back surgery. Additionally, if you think the doctor who referred your original surgeon went with the most convenient or economical choice rather than the best choice for your health, you should get another opinion.

Have You Been Given Detailed Information?
If you meet with a surgeon who fails to provide you with detailed information on your recommended back surgery, you should consider getting a second opinion from an experienced Arkansas back surgeon. Your surgeon should be willing to answer questions and concerns about your procedure, as well as educate you on how it is done and what the recovery period is like. Ask for an explanation of why they recommend it over other procedures and how they determined that surgery is necessary for your spinal condition. Any hesitation or difficulty answering these questions is a warning sign.

Have You Had Unsuccessful Back Surgery in the Past?
If you have already had a spinal fusion or other procedure with poor results, seek a second opinion if your surgeon recommends another surgery. Additional back surgery may not be beneficial in some cases, and it could even put you at unnecessary risk. Ask a different surgeon whether more surgery will correct your spinal condition.

Do You Feel Pressured Into a Procedure?
Your surgeon should not pressure or scare you into having back surgery. Keep in mind that surgery for chronic back pain is not considered an emergency procedure. Surgery is a big decision that can put your health at risk and potentially require you to take time off from work for recovery, so you should feel comfortable and confident with the choice you make. Seek a second opinion before back surgery if your surgeon is pressuring you to undergo a procedure without discussing other surgical and nonsurgical options. A trustworthy surgeon will take your concerns into consideration when determining the best course of treatment.

If you suffer from back pain and are interested in getting a second opinion before back surgery, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at 877-918-7020 for an appointment with one of our renowned Arkansas back surgeons to learn more about your treatment options.

need help scheduling
an appointment with a surgeon?

more questions?


Main Line
Toll-Free Number
Visit the hospital
5201 Northshore Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118