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This is the most critical step towards preparing for spine surgery! Most spine surgeries are dictated by two factors, pain and nerve function. A doctor can measure a patient’s temperature, he can measure his blood pressure; but he cannot measure his pain. Pain is a very subjective sensation and hence, the need for surgery on the grounds of pain would be decided by the patient himself.If pain is severe enough to interfere with the activities of daily living, if it is becoming a source of constant nagging discomfort, if it is decreasing the patient’s productivity, then it is better to undergo a surgery as per the spine surgeon’s recommendations. If nerve function is affected, then depending on the severity and duration of the problem, as also coexisting disorders such as diabetes mellitus, the spine specialist may recommend surgical intervention.Unless the risk vs benfit ratio tilts very favourably towards surgery it will not be suggested to you in the first place.It is important to realize this as nothing in life comes without an element of risk; even the simple act of walking out on the street is fraught with risk, which we know may sometimes be life threatening too! So, do not confine your life to months and months of futile bed rest for misplaced fears of spine surgery. Discuss the details of your surgery and its attendant risks with your doctor to quell any fears and to clear any and every doubt of yours! If you so desire, your doctor can even arrange to give you references of patients who have undergone similar surgeries.

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