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    As a growing number of patients seek consultations for increasingly complex and costly spinal surgery, it is of both clinical and economic value to investigate the role for second opinions (SOs). Here, we summarized and focused on the shortcomings of 14 studies regarding the role and value of SOs before proceeding with spine surgery. Utilizing PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus, we identified 14 studies that met the inclusion criteria that included: English, primary articles, and studies published in the past 20 years. We identified the following findings regarding SO for spine surgery: (1) about 40.6% of spine consultations are SO cases; (2) 61.3% of those received a discordant SO; (3) 75% of discordant SOs recommended conservative management; and (4) SO discordance applied to a variety of procedures. The 14 studies reviewed regarding SOs in spine surgery showed that half of the SOs differed from those given in the initial consultation and that SOs in spine surgery can have a substantial impact on patient care. Absent are prospective studies investigating the impact of following a first versus second opinion. These studies are needed to inform the potential benefit of universal implementation of SOs before major spine operations to potentially reduce the frequency and type/extent of surgery. Copyright: © 2021 Surgical Neurology International.


    Sandra Gattas, Gianna M Fote, Nolan J Brown, Brian V Lien, Elliot H Choi, Alvin Y Chan, Charles D Rosen, Michael Y Oh. Second opinion in spine surgery: A scoping review. Surgical neurology international. 2021;12:436

    PMID: 34513199

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