Dr. Christopher Bono, Chief of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery’s Spine Service, has a habit of talking patients out of spine surgery. It’s not that he doesn’t want to help you – quite the contrary.
Spine surgeons in Dr. Bono’s practice end up performing surgery on less than 25 percent of the more than 800 patients that they see each year. Dr. Bono is proud of that low rate, as his team’s goal, as ironic as it may seem, is to perform the least amount of surgery possible. His rationales for this objective are that spine surgery, even in the hands of its best surgeons, is a very risky proposition, and the vast majority of patients with back pain can be treated effectively without surgery.