The Most Important Decision You Can Make
How do you Make Your Big Decisions?
Almost daily we make choices that could change our lives or the lives of those around us. Sometimes it’s taking a different way to work and ending up in an accident, buying a car that ends up costing a fortune in repairs, or for the very few, stopping and picking up a winning lottery ticket on the way home.
Most of us do not like making big decisions. Weighing the odds and the possible outcomes has kept even the strongest of us awake at night. Healthcare decisions especially can be insomnia producing.
The first thing one does when buying a house or a car (two of our biggest purchases) is research. We look up “comparables” on houses and talk to friends to find the best agents in the area. An official inspection is done and we make sure everything is completed before we actually sign the papers.
When we buy a car, we go online, we compare prices and consumer reports. Most people make sure a used car has not been in an accident or a flood and get their own mechanic to check it out.
We are very good at doing our homework when money is concerned. Safety is a generally a secondary concern unless your children or pets are being considered. Unfortunately, we are not as careful with ourselves.
Why do we not “shop” for elective surgery? It is more important than a new car. We go to one surgeon, take their advice and make a decision that can affect the rest of our lives. Most people do minimal research and feel that if the doctor recommended it, it must be done. Only a small percentage of people look for alternative treatments, get second opinions, or research their physicians.
It’s a big decision to undergo any surgery, but especially spine surgery. It not only affects you now but has a permanent effect on your future. Do your homework! Check out your alternatives. Get a second, or even a third, opinion. Make sure all conservative measures have been taken. You get one body. You can’t trade it in. You can’t buy a new one.
Remember, it will be the biggest purchase you will ever make.
- Kim CH, Chung CK, Choi Y, Kim MJ, Kim MJ, Shin S, Yang SH, Hwang SH, Kim DH, Park SB, Lee JH. Increased Proportion of Fusion Surgery for Degenerative Lumbar Spondylolisthesis and Changes in Reoperation Rate: A Nationwide Cohort Study With a Minimum 5-Year Follow-up. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2019 Mar 1;44(5):346-354. PubMed PMID: 30028778