10 Scenarios Where You Should Seek a Second Opinion From a Spine Doctor

May 14, 2019 | Patient Rights

Spine problems can be extremely painful, debilitating, and dangerous. Improper diagnosis and treatment can cause permanent damage, which is why patients should exhaust all options to get the proper help they need. Everyone makes mistakes, even doctors, so you should reduce the chance of error and seek a second opinion for certain scenarios you may find yourself in.

You should seek a second opinion from another spine doctor in New Jersey if…

  1. You feel like something is off about the diagnosis
    • You may have a gut feeling, and you should share this with your primary doctor, but even so, trust your intuition and seek a second opinion.
  2. The recommended treatment is risky, experimental, or not FDA-approved
    • You may subject yourself to a dangerous treatment, which may not be necessary. Seeking a second opinion after such a treatment option is very important.
  3. The treatment involves surgery
    • A study has shown that roughly 25% of patients who were recommended spine surgery did not require surgery (For more information from the study, click here). That is why we take a nonsurgical approach, exhausting all options before recommending surgery.
  4. You received a rare diagnosis
    • Rare diagnoses generally have expensive and experimental treatment options. It’s best to make sure you are certain you have this rare condition before starting such treatments.
  5. You received treatment, but your symptoms still continue weeks later
    • This can be a strong indicator that you either had a misdiagnosis or were recommended improper treatment for your condition.
  6. You need more or varied information on the initial diagnosis or treatment option
    • It’s best to find a doctor at a different institution than your current one to get an opinion outside of that doctor’s thought network. But remember, you must still find a reputable spine surgeon or doctor. Contact your health insurance representative to find the best doctors under your coverage.
  7. Your spine doctor or physician is unsure of your symptoms or gives no clear diagnosis
    • Your symptoms may not be as frequently encountered by your primary doctor as another. The more spine doctors you visit, the more likely someone has encountered, diagnosed, and properly treated your condition.
  8. The doctor who gave you the diagnosis is not specialized in your condition
    • If your primary physician has diagnosed you with a spine problem and recommends physical therapy, it is best to also seek the opinion of a spine doctor.
  9. Your goals are different from your spine doctor’s goals
    • If you have certain life requirements, but your doctor’s recommended treatments do not meet these requirements, consider a second opinion for more treatment options to fit your needs.
  10. You had surgery and your spine doctor is proposing more surgery
    • If you had a spinal fusion, in most cases, it is not recommended to undergo additional fusion and surgery. It is best to seek a second opinion from another doctor, especially if you had not sought a second opinion the first time around.

Spine surgery is a major operation, which is why we believe you should be as informed as possible before making the final decision. By visiting our spine doctors here in New Jersey for a second opinion, you can be sure surgery will not be your first and only option, unless it is absolutely necessary.

 

Schedule an appointment to seek a second opinion from Coastal Spine’s experienced spine doctors in New Jersey, today!

 

Remember: Request all your medical reports and history be sent to the doctor who will be providing your second opinion.