Is surgery for neck or back pain necessary? Sometimes. It is reasonable to consider spine surgery if the pain has not diminished after months of non-surgical treatment, if pain does not respond to medication, or if you're unable to complete basic daily activities. Some surgery options are minimally invasive (microdiscectomy for a  herniated disc) and allow for quick recovery, while other types of surgery (a posterolateral fusion for degenerative disc disease) are more extensive.

Before turning to spine surgery, there are several nonsurgical treatment options that may alleviate symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease. In addition, symptoms may subside on their own.

The procedures for vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are similar, but contain key differences that patients should consider when deciding on surgery for vertebral fractures.
Vertebroplasty, a minimally invasive surgical procedure, may be considered for painful spine fractures primarily caused by osteoporosis.
Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are minimally invasive procedures that may be used in cases of severe pain caused by a vertebral fracture that does not improve over a number of weeks with pain medication and bracing.