In this TED Talk, neurosurgeon Christer Mjåset shares the four questions you should ask your doctor when they recommend surgery, an MRI, antibiotics, or any other serious treatment plan.


Dr. Mjåset shares the story of a patient to whom he recommended surgery for a prolapsed disc in her neck. After hearing about the operation, the patient asked, “Doctor, is this really necessary?”

This sparked Dr. Mjåset to realize that doctors and surgeons need to decide with their patient on the best route for them. According to this video, doctors prescribe or suggest a treatment plan that isn’t necessary 30% of the time. The reason? Patient pressure. Patients want something to be done and have preconceived notions about what is wrong with them and the best way to treat it.

Instead of over-treating your injury with surgery, choose physical therapy as the non-invasive alternative that can give you the same effects as surgery. This of course varies by injury, but it can be an outcome decided by you and your doctor when you ask these four questions:

  1. Is this really necessary?
  2. What are the risks?
  3. Are there other options?
  4. What happens if I don’t do anything?

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So, we urge you to work with your physician and learn about every option so together you can knowledgeably decide what treatment option is best for you. Whether you decide that physical therapy is a good alternative to surgery, or that surgery with physical therapy as part of your recovery plan is better, we are here to support you! Contact us to discuss your options today.