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3 months ago | 23-08-2017 | PRN

Back Surgery? Advises Get a Second Opinion First

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 22, 2017 : It's estimated that 4 out of 5 adults will have an attack of back or neck pain at some point in their lives. Anyone who has had an attack of back pain, or neck pain, immediately fears the worst: spine surgery.

And with good reason. Some prominent athletes who have spine surgery appear to be worse off after spine surgery then they were before. According to Dartmouth Medical Atlas, there is significant treatment variation related to spine care, with some states having twice the rate of back surgery as other states.

"In the field of spine, there can be specialty bias based on the training of the doctor," explains Wayne Mounts, executive director of South Carolina Spine Center. "Spine surgeons can be naturally biased to using spine surgery, while non-surgeons can be equally biased to hanging onto the patient past the point when non-surgical options have failed to work." was developed to address the issue of treatment bias. is the only national network of multi-disciplinary spine centers that meet credentialing criteria. To be included, a spine center must combine the expertise of spine-specialized surgeons along with Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation MDs who specialize in non-surgical treatment options, including spinal injections. The spine centers also have affiliated spine therapists.

"The solution is to have a spine center that combines under one roof Physical Medicine MDs who exhaust non-surgical treatment options first, and then if those fail to work, the patient is triaged to a spine surgeon who is trained in minimally invasive spine surgery," adds Mounts. "We also caution people that if they've been told they need spine surgery, it's a good idea to get a second opinion from a multi-disciplinary spine center to confirm that they really need it, and if they qualify for minimally invasive spine surgery or an artificial disc which can improve their clinical outcome."

Another issue with spine is that pain can be a misleading symptom. For example, here are four symptoms and when you need to see a doctor quickly:
1.BACK SPASMS can often resolve on their own with anti-inflammatories and rest.
2.FALL OR CAR ACCIDENT needs to be seen quickly if a fracture is suspected.
3.RADIATING PAIN into an arm or leg needs to be seen in a week.
4.NUMB FOOT OR HAND, or loss of bowel/bladder control, are all emergency symptoms that need to be seen by a spine specialist immediately to prevent permanent paralysis of the muscles and nerves.

As a community service, all the spine centers in distribute a free 36-page Home Remedy Book which has home remedies and special stretches that can relieve back and neck pain symptoms and prevent a future back pain attack. The handbook also features symptom charts that explain when it's crucial to go to the doctor fast.

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