Do I need back surgery? One of the most common injuries I see in my practice are back and neck injuries that happened as a result of a work injury. Clients are often worried if they are going to need back surgery and, if so, if they will ever fell 100% again. Of course, the answer is “it depends.” The vast majority of back injuries (including herniated disks) do not require surgery. The typical course of treatment is rest, medication, activity modification and, most importantly, physical therapy.
Did you know that herniated disks can be treated effectively with physical therapy? They can! However, if you have gone through the typical protocol of conservative treatment without relief, your doctor may recommend surgery such as a diskectomy or fusion. This is where having a skilled doctor is critical. Not all surgeons are created equal. Medicine is an art and a science and it is imperative you have a skilled surgeon. If you do require surgery, will it help? Hopefully yes. Tony Romo just had a lumbar diskectomy. Not to mention Peyton Manning, who underwent multiple neck surgeries and bounced back (recent Super Bowl performance notwithstanding!)
We are not professional athletes and most of us are certainly not in the physical condition that they are. However, we can learn from their successes. The common theme between Romo and Manning? Aggressive postoperative physical therapy. If your doctor is not recommended pre-operative or post-operative physical therapy….it might be time for a second opinion.