For spine conditions that respond well to non-surgical treatment options, you probably don’t need to seek a second opinion after your condition has been determined – especially if the treatment recommendations involve medications, physical therapy and other non-surgical options. If, however, non-surgical treatments for spine pain are no longer providing relief and surgery is being discussed, it’s a good idea to seek additional input before making a final decision.
Possible Options You Haven’t Considered
Another spine specialist is likely to have a fresh pair of eyes when it comes to evaluating your condition. While they may agree with your previous diagnosis, you may be presented with some other non-surgical options that weren’t on the table before. Some patients also consider seeking a second opinion from non-traditional practitioners like acupuncturists and herbal healers. It should be noted that unless your condition requires urgent attention, there is usually no harm in trying such treatment options.
Exploring Newer Techniques
If you need spine surgery that involves a complex procedure with possible complications or side effects, a spine surgeon who’s more familiar with alternative techniques like artificial disc replacement instead of traditional fusion surgery can present other options worth considering. By seeking input from other spine specialists, you can also see if you qualify for minimally invasive procedures, which can reduce your recovery time.
When to Consider a Second Opinion
As a patient, you always have the right to get a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment options. You may be prompted to do so if:
- You’re not satisfied with results you’re getting from your current treatments
- You want a new perspective on your condition
- You want to consider newer procedures your current doctor may not be comfortable recommending
Any reputable spine surgeon in Santa Monica isn’t going to mind a patient getting a second opinion. In fact, some doctors may encourage visiting other specialists who have more experience with your particular spine condition before you make any further treatment decisions.