Having been told to you need surgery is traumatic, since it requires you to adjust your life around a surgical procedure that can leave you in pain for weeks to come. Surgery can affect your job, your life and your relationships as well, since you will need someone to take you there, watch over you and most likely, give you opioid pain medication while you recover. It is also expensive, once you factor in the facility fee, anesthesia and of course the post and pre operative visits. It can also have complications and you may develop an infection or problems from the scar for years to come. If the surgery was life saving, or life improving, such as in the case with hip or knee replacements, it can make a marked difference in the quality of life and may be worth going through with the procedure. The good news is that there may be a better choice than surgery.
There is more evidence that many commonly performed surgical procedures are not be necessary, and in fact, may be avoidable with the right rehabilitation and better advice early on may avoid many knee and hip problems altogether. Two that come to mind are the typical meniscus surgery which earlier this year was shown to be much less effective than thought, since most people who had one eventually damaged the knee requiring a second surgery, injections or ultimately knee replacement after the meniscus wore down. Another common surgery for shoulder impingement has been shown to be ineffective as well. There are many other examples of this which should have you wondering if that surgery recommendation is really your best option.
Most back surgeries are of dubious value, especially those that decrease mobility probably because the literature suggests back pain is often related to knee and shoulder pain and these problems are caused by impaired movement. The studies also are now showing that after two years, those who had good quality rehab of the problem are most likely doing as well as those that had surgery, without the cost or the permanence that a surgery may bring to how you move and function.
If you have surgery, new information suggests that the common usage of Opioid pain killers may in fact cause you to experience more pain than if you used another medication. This is an important reason to consider avoiding post surgical opioids all together.
Because of the current research surrounding the use of surgery, and how many surgeries and procedures are being questioned by in the current medical literature, it probably makes sense get an opinion outside the medical world from a different point of view of how things work. Perhaps, its time to see a chiropractic sports physician first, for rehab and to holistically evaluate your problem. While the current model of care enforces the idea of looking at the painful part and then treating it, more often than not, the painful part is the symptom, rather than the problem. As discussed in the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain suggests you see an enlightened practitioner, or someone who looks at you holistically, understands why you are in pain and resolves the mechanism behind your back, knee and shoulder problems. The benefit of this, is that often, a thorough active evaluation will pinpoint the problems causing the symptoms you are now having as well as future potential problems that may be prevented. Often, this method of diagnosis and treatment can resolve a problem for less than the cost of an MRI, and the many therapy visits required to treat and area of pain, instead of treating the problem causing your pain.
With todays high deductibles, it is quite likely that you are going to pay a lot for a test that does not help you figure out why you hurt, like a good examination does. Maybe it is time to get that second opinion early on, from a chiropractic sports physician first.
Committing to surgery requires moving your life around to accommodate an event, that may or may not help you, but can leave you in pain, requiring rehabilitation and additional costs and tests. Sometimes, the right specialist can make all the difference, helping you feel and function better, while avoiding the costs and risks of surgery. See a chiropractic sports physician first. If you require surgery, they will send you to the right person for you.