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The overall goal of spine surgery is to get to the root of the problem, while at the same time causing the least amount of disruption to the patient’s lifestyle. Spine surgery is typically a choice of last resort, after all nonsurgical methods have been exhausted, or when problems like severely herniated discs or damaged vertebrae simply will not respond to nonsurgical treatments. While studies show that more than half of back surgeries are unnecessary, there are times when surgery is the answer.
When surgery is the right course of action, it is essential for you to play an active role in selecting the best spine surgeon for you. You should look for a surgeon that specializes in spine problems rather than one that spends time treating patients with other needs, such as head, knee and shoulder injuries. As with anything else, practice makes perfect. The more a person does something, the better they get at it. The ideal spine surgeon is one who is fellowship-trained, spine-specialized and proficient in minimally invasive techniques.