For the half million people who undergo back surgery each year, and the additional million who are seriously contemplating it, Do You Really Need Back Surgery? is a godsend--an informed, reliable guide to when you should consider surgery and when you should not. Written by an internationally recognized expert in nerve and spinal surgery, this highly readable guide covers everything back patients need to know to make informed decisions about their treatment. Featuring 115 illustrations, the book discusses the details of spinal anatomy; the difference between acute, chronic, and recurring pain; shows how to keep the spine healthy; and explains such terms as spurs, stenosis, and slippage. It reveals what clues your physician uses to predict whether a given type of pain is likely to go away with rest and exercise, or may become an emergency. Dr. Filler discusses the risks of surgery, the decisions you may be faced with and what options you have, and your expectations for recovery. He provides detailed explanations of the wide array of spinal injections and surgeries, including discectomies and fusions, as well as innovative procedures such as electrothermic and laser techniques and artificial disks. He explains the various medical imaging and diagnostic tests available and even covers the complexities of health insurance. The new and extensively revised Second Edition now covers dozens of advanced techniques in spinal diagnostics and treatment as well as advances in new pain medications and new surgeries that minimize recovery time and achieve better outcomes. A new section on the benefits and risks of a wide array of herbal medicines has been added. Finally, the book features two entirely new chapters that describe a series of different nerve entrapment syndromes that can cause headache, neck, shoulder, and arm pain as well as causing buttock and leg pain--but are not caused by spine problems.