What Spinal Conditions Require a Second Opinion?

Second Opinion for Spinal Surgeries

Spinal conditions can be just as unique as the people who are living with such conditions, meaning treatment options aren’t always the same for everyone. While spinal conditions likely to respond to more conservative treatments like OTC medications or a little rest really don’t require a second opinion, there are some spinal conditions that tend to require some extra input before deciding on a treatment.

Non-Specific Lower Back Pain

If you’ve been diagnosed with non-specific lower back pain, treatment options are likely to vary widely from one specialist to the next. It’s a good idea to make an effort to narrow down the cause of your back pain, which may be related to some forms of cancer or other conditions having nothing to do with your spine. Seeing one or more doctor in this case can ensure proper treatment options are presented.

Disc Herniation

When diagnosed with disc herniation, it’s a good idea to seek a second opinion if spinal surgery becomes an option. This is especially true if you’ve been diagnosed with a “possible herniated disc” without any confirmation from an x-ray or MRI.

If fusion surgery of the spine is discussed, you’ll definitely want to seek a second – or even a third – opinion since fusion surgery to maintain the stability of the spine following the removal of a damaged disc(s) is major surgery with potentially serious side effects.

For conditions like scoliosis and kyphosis (abnormal curvatures of the spine), a second opinion is certainly an option, but not usually required if it’s clear that the curvature of the spine is worsening and causing chronic pain.

Other Considerations

Regardless of your spinal condition, however, it’s a good idea to consider a second opinion if:

  • You have lingering doubts about any recommended surgery
  • You feel that there are other treatments that may help including non-traditional remedies like acupuncture that your doctor isn’t willing to recommend
  • An experimental spinal treatment is recommended and you’d feel more comfortable with traditional options
  • You have other medical issues that may be affecting, or possibly complicating, your spinal condition that aren’t within your doctor’s areas of expertise

If you’re seeking a second opinion for your spinal condition, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration and schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Hyun Bae, a conservative spinal surgeon in Santa Monica that specializes in minimally invasive and non-fusion treatment options. Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule your consultation today.