Around the world, millions of people suffer from back pain. It is estimated that 51-84% of adults will experience low back pain in their lifetime.1 of Due to its debilitating effects, many people are oftentimes told that surgery is the only answer to ending their pain and dysfunction. Although surgery is sometimes absolutely necessary, the rate of spine surgeries continues to increase despite the fact that they often can and should be avoided. 

Like all major surgeries, back procedures come with a significant amount of risk and complications. At The Patel Center for Functional Regeneration in Los Angeles and Orange County, founder Dr. Shounuck Patel believes that most surgeries are oftentimes unnecessary. 

Dr. Patel believes that every patient is unique and deserves a customized treatment plan created with your body and lifestyle in mind. As a world-renowned regenerative medicine specialist he is dedicated to helping you get back to doing the activities you love without the need for surgery. 

To help further explain the dangers of back surgery, we have created our top five reasons why you should avoid back surgery whenever possible.


Risks and complications

It doesn’t get much riskier than undergoing back surgery. There is a chance that you could suffer some serious complications both during and after your back surgery. These can include paralysis, nerve damage, infection, blood clots, stroke, chronic pain, opioid pain medication addiction, and in some cases even death. In fact, there is a higher rate of opioid poisonings following spine procedures.2


Higher costs

Major back surgery comes with a hefty price. Even with a comprehensive health insurance plan, you are facing a massive cost. When you break it down – you have to pay for the specialist back surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the medical facility, the lengthy hospital stay, and the time lost to recovery, all without factoring in the potential long-term consequences. 


No guarantees

Nothing is guaranteed when you undergo any surgery, but especially when it comes to your spine. Despite a “successful” operation from the standpoint of your surgeon, you may experience continued pain after spine surgery. This persistent pain or continuation of symptoms is known as failed back surgery syndrome.1 Unfortunately, you could take on all the associated risks and complications without the surgery fixing your back pain. 

Before you decide to undergo back surgery talk to our expert team at The Patel Center for Functional Regeneration in Los Angeles. Dr. Patel has created a method that combines his training in hands-on Osteopathic manipulation, non-surgical physical medicine and rehabilitation, traditional Interventional pain management, and advanced Regenerative Medicine. 


Longer recovery time

The recovery from back surgery can take weeks or months of rest and rehabilitation. Even if your surgery is a complete success you will need to undertake a lengthy rehab program. 

Everyday activities like sleep, walking, making yourself meals can be severely affected during your recovery. Not only will you be off work for a long period you may also be prescribed highly addictive opioid medication. 

Dr. Patel offers a range of procedures developed ultimately to help patients avoid spine surgery and the side effects of epidural steroid injections or chronic pain medications.  


Can Lead to more surgeries

One of the side effects or complications after back surgery can be the need to have even more procedures. The most common spine surgeries are known to lead to repeat surgeries. For example, a discectomy surgery that removes herniated disc material often is associated with repeat herniation of the disc. Another example is a condition called “Adjacent Segment Disease” in which the levels above and below a fusion surgery develop issues that cause symptoms. 

Additional surgeries not only come with more risks, they also come with more costs. Another surgery means more medical bills and more physical therapy. For example, spine fusion surgery almost guarantees that you will need further vertebrates fused at a later date. 

Find out more about non-surgical back surgery alternatives 

A second opinion is always a good idea when it comes to your long term health and wellbeing.  You may not need to go under the knife to ease your back pain. There are several effective alternative treatments that can help you avoid surgery. It’s worth your time and energy to seek a second opinion. 

Talk to the experienced team at The Patel Center for Functional Regeneration about their non-surgical back treatments. Dr. Patel’s number one priority is to provide exceptional patient care and give patients the most educated opinion in regards to if they need surgery. 
For more information contact Dr. Patel’s patient concierge team at


  1. Orhurhu VJ., et al. Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. StatPearls.
  2. Kim KW., et al. Post-operative Pain Management Following Orthopedic Spine Procedures and Consequent Acute Opioid Poisoning: An Analysis of New York State from 2009 – 2018. Spine. 2022 Jul 15.
  3. Stanton EW., et al. The incidence of failed back surgery syndrome varies between clinical setting and procedure type. J Clin Neurosci. 2022 Jul 8;103:56-61.