Do You Really Need Back Surgery? A Surgeon's Guide to Neck and Back Pain and How to Choose Your Treatment

Do You Really Need Back Surgery? A Surgeon's Guide to Neck and Back Pain and How to Choose Your Treatment

Do You Really Need Back Surgery? A Surgeon's Guide to Neck and Back Pain and How to Choose Your Treatment

Do You Really Need Back Surgery? A Surgeon's Guide to Neck and Back Pain and How to Choose Your Treatment


Most people have back surgery to relieve pain, but all too often it doesn't help. For the half million people who undergo back surgery each year, and the additional million who are seriously contemplating it,Do You Really Need Back Surgery'is a godsend--an informed, reliable guide to when you should consider surgery and when you should not.
Written by an internationally recognized expert in nerve and spinal surgery, this highly readable guide covers everything back patients need to know to make informed decisions about their treatment. The book discusses the details of spinal anatomy; the difference between acute, chronic, and recurring pain; shows how to keep the spine healthy; and explains such terms as spurs, stenosis, and slippage. It also reveals what clues your physician uses to predict whether a given type of pain is likely to go away with rest and exercise, and which types may become emergencies. Dr. Filler discusses the risks of surgery, the decisions you may be faced with and what options you have, and your expectations for recovery. He provides detailed explanations of the wide array of spinal injections and surgeries, including discectomies and fusions, as well as innovative procedures such as electrothermic and laser techniques and artificial disks. He explains the various medical imaging and diagnostic tests available and even covers the complexities of health insurance.
From Pilates to pedicle screws, and from osteoporosis to spina bifida,Do You Really Need Back Surgery'covers all the questions your doctor usually doesn't have the time to answer. Featuring more than 80 illustrations, it is an essential manual for every neck or back pain sufferer.


J. Patrick Johnson, md Director, Institute for Spinal Disorders, Cedars Sinai Medical Center

I am delighted and honored to write the foreword for Dr. Aaron Filler's latest work, Do You Really Need Back Surgery? a Surgeon's Guide to Back and Neck Pain and How to Choose Your Treatment. He has been both a talented friend and colleague for more than a decade and has evolved his talents as a leading surgeon and scientist, particularly within the realm of spine and nerve disorders. He has pioneered previously unobtainable nerve imaging techniques using magnetic resonance imaging and has thereby established the new unique specialty of mr Neurography.

The understanding of spinal disorders has vastly improved with the precision imaging of digital x-rays; spiral computerized tomography (CT), with the benefit of minimal radiation to the patient; and the exquisite detail of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which involves no radiation exposure. Other recent advances in functional imaging now provide video studies of body fluids, including blood flow, cerebrospinal fluid flow, and metabolic activity of tissues in normal and diseased states that were previously unobtainable or obtained only with invasive procedures. These detailed imaging studies can now be shared with expert colleagues in consultation around the world through digital transmission of huge data sets from desktop computers.

The treatment of spinal disorders has evolved with computerized rehabilitation technology for the nonsurgical patient to avoid and prevent surgery or to optimally rehabilitate the patient who requires a surgical procedure. a variety of new medications have been developed for the treatment of pain, inflammation, and degenerative diseases. the surgical treatment of spinal disorders has changed dramatically especially in the past decade with “macro” surgery being transformed into “micro” or minimally invasive surgery with the ability to achieve comparable outcomes. Many spinal surgeries are now being performed in an outpatient surgery setting using microsurgery and endoscopy with patients going home in less than one day. Even comparably larger reconstructive surgeries are now being . . .

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