Spine problems can be very difficult to understand and hard to treat. There can be many different symptoms
present and many possible treatments may be available. Getting a reliable solution can be an overwhelming
challenge given all the gadgets, mattresses, exercises, chiropractors, and 'spine experts' out there.
Occasionally, surgery may be suggested to help treat a spine problem. It is very important to understand
the spine condition properly and exhaust all reasonable non-operative treatment problems prior to considering
surgery. Getting additional opinions should be encouraged and all questions should be answered to the patient's
and family's satisfaction.
In the end, the patient must make an informed decision based on their understanding of the problem and
understand the risks, benefits, and alternatives to surgical intervention. Most importantly, the patient
must feel comfortable with his/her surgeon, as it is the surgeon's responsibility to:
1) Ensure that all reasonable non-operative treatments have been tried
2) Ensure surgery is necessary, and
3) Decide which surgical procedure would best serve the patient's condition.
These webpages are designed to help explain the most typical spinal conditions in a patient-friendly
manner so that an informed and educated decision can be made. Please discuss the specifics of your
situation with a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, as they are best trained to manage the
non-operative and operative treatments for your particular condition.
Mir H. Ali, MD,PhD
Director - Deerpath Spine Institute
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon - Rezin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
Dr. Ali is a board certified orthopedic spine surgeon trained in the diagnosis as well as the treatment of
non-operative and operative spinal disorders. Dr. Ali practices in the far western and southwestern
suburbs of Chicago and utilizes surgery as a last resort when all other non-operative treatments have
failed to relieve pain and/or reduce risk of nerve damage/injury. All recommendations on this site are for
general situations and a particular situation requires evaluation before specific treatment recommendations
can be made.