Back pain affects us all 4:5 of us according to Harvard Medical School will have an episode(some chronic and some acute…). WE MUST HAVE THE SMART TEAM of Professionals to flip over every stone prior to considering the knife or laser!

I am always approached from folks all over the world who are challenged with their performance on many levels (beginner to advanced) about my opinion on surgery for the back. My answer is always the same…It’s complicated. The spine is the most magnificent shock absorber ever designed, and understanding it’s function demands honoring it’s design and educating ourselves how to best preserve it’s functionality and spare the tissue over a lifetime!

Let’s start by asking the right questions. I encourage all of you to take this on-line course



  1. Do I fully understand my back problem, including the various treatment options, the evidence supporting them, and the likely outcomes of these treatments?
  2. Do I know the likely future course of my back condition if untreated, so I can choose between a wait-and-watch approach and surgery?
  3. Has the doctor explained the risks and benefits of surgery for this back problem in a way that I understand?
  4. Do I understand how likely the surgery is to relieve pain and reduce disability, and for how long?
  5. Do I understand what the recovery period will be like and if I will need physical therapy or rehabilitation services?
  6. Do I understand the costs of the surgery, how much my insurance will cover and what will be my out of pocket?
  7. How likely will it be that I might need additional surgeries?
  8. How do I feel about taking risks of any sort?
  9. Consider your personality, lifestyle, age, and other medical conditions.
  10. How much do I value functioning at a high level, and how much risk am I willing to take to get to a higher level of function?
  • ADDITIONALLY, Outstanding question (list questions I need to ask my surgeon or find out more information on)…