Reasons to get a Second Opinion before Spinal Surgery

Spinal conditions and back pain are often as unique as the person with the condition, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all diagnosis or treatment. Although some back pain responds to conservative treatments, other spinal conditions require more extensive measures, like traditional spinal fusion surgery or spinal decompression surgery, and a second opinion can provide both clarity and reassurance. 


There are many reasons why severe back pain may occur, and although a reason may seem obvious at first glance sometimes the causation is more complicated than initially imagined or simply less clear. As a matter of course, a person should always request a second opinion for any diagnosis that would require spine surgery. This especially holds true if the diagnosis is at all suspect or is based on tests that do not provide clear or conclusive answers.


Some spine surgeries may be invasive and complex with specific risk factors and substantive recuperation and–in some cases–rehabilitation time required after the surgery. One physician may simply prefer specific surgical options due to their education, experience, and expertise. Another physician, however, may prefer to avoid surgery as a treatment given experience with, or exposure to, other treatment options. Getting a second, or even third, opinion will help you understand all your treatment options and determine which is best for you.

A second opinion is all about providing checks-and-balances in the diagnosis and treatment processes and ensuring patients feel comfortable with the care they’re being provided. 

There is nothing to fear when asking for a second opinion or letting your current physician know you’ll be seeking out another opinion from a board-certified spinal surgeon. Any professional and trustworthy physician will encourage you to receive a second opinion and will most likely give you a list of other specialists in your area if asked for recommendations.  

If you’d like to speak with an experienced spine surgeon about your diagnosis and treatment options, reach out to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration and schedule an in-person consultation with Dr. Hyun Bae. Call (310) 828-7757 and start on the path toward a more comfortable life.