Which is right for me, spine surgery or conservative treatment?

Except in rare cases, spine surgery isn’t generally performed on an emergency basis. This means that there is plenty of time for patients to weigh the pros and cons of surgical intervention with the help of their doctors. Here at Riverside Community Hospital, we emphasize personalized treatment plans and extensive patient education. Our physicians and specialists firmly believe in empowering our patients with the knowledge they need to make thoughtful, informed decisions for their healthcare.

Giving conservative treatments a try
When you watch the accompanying video, you’ll hear directly from a neurosurgeon at Riverside Community Hospital. He explains that physicians prefer to prescribe conservative treatments to their patients first before considering spine surgery. Sometimes, a little trial and error is required to find the treatment plan that works for you.

Give your doctor feedback on what works and what doesn’t, and whether you experience any side effects. Your doctor may adjust your treatment plan in response to your feedback. Take the initiative to ask about additional therapies that may help you, such as physical or occupational therapy.

Considering spine surgery as a last resort
If you’ve tried conservative treatments for a while and they aren’t doing enough to help you, schedule another visit with your doctor. It might be time to discuss spine surgery.

You may be referred to a neurosurgeon, who will carefully evaluate your health by studying imaging scans, performing a physical exam and perhaps requesting lab tests. This thorough evaluation is necessary to make sure that surgery really can help you. Spine surgery is generally only recommended if an anatomical cause of your pain can be determined, such as a herniated disc.

Additionally, you’ll need to fully understand the potential risks of having surgery. Your doctor can explain the most common side effects and the uncommon complications that may occur.

If you and your doctor decide that spine surgery is the right choice for you, then you can feel confident in the exceptional skills of the neurosurgeons at Riverside Community Hospital . Neuroscience Center at Riverside is the top choice for complex brain and spine surgeries for patients in the Inland Empire. Call a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to a specialist.

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