There are some types of surgeons (ie: spinal surgeons) in which the surgeries they perform are complicated and very invasive with serious consequences. Certainly if a doctor is removing a disc and drilling plates and screws into your spine, you know it is a very large invasive surgery and the outcome of the surgery still carries significant risks. However there are other types of surgeries, such as arthroscopic procedures to knees and shoulders, that are very common and have a have much fewer risks than neck or back surgery. Advances in medical technology are making it easier for patients to have arthroscopic procedures such as hip and ankle which were not as common 10 or 15 years ago.
After all options have been exhausted a doctor may decide that a patient is a candidate for surgery. However it should be noted that some patients don’t want to have the pain management injections that go along with short term pain management and don’t want to take the risk of becoming chemical dependent. Thus, sometimes the patients will seek surgical advice without first undergoing this type of treatment. Additionally, it should be noted that many surgeons recognize the limitations of short and long term pain management and if the patient continues to have severe symptoms will agree to do surgery on the patient without first undergoing pain management.