Should I seek a second opinion before going for spine surgery?

Dr. David A. Hanscom, MD
Spine Surgeon

Right now there is an "epidemic" of spine surgery. I feel that well over half of spine surgeries should never be done. The fallout of a failed back surgery is often catastrophic. A significant part of my practice is involved with helping people out of the hole after failed back surgeries. The common theme is the first operation never should have been done.

Continue Learning about Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries typically occur because of a blow to the spine, but sometimes they can be caused by an infection called spinal stenosis or a birth defect like spina bifida, where the spine does not form properly. A blow to th...

e spine through trauma such as a fall or car crash can break or dislocate vertebrae, the individual bone segments along the spine. These damaged vertebrae bruise or tear the spinal cord, damaging nerve cells and causing complete or partial paralysis. The higher the injury on the spinal cord, the greater the paralysis; for instance, damage in the neck can paralyze the chest, arms and legs. Damage lower on the spine can paralyze the legs and lower body. Some feeling and movement may return over time depending on the level of injury and the patients muscle strength.

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