Many patients are referred to the neurosurgeon for spinal problems and are told that if they do not have surgery they will likely be paralyzed. The true incidence of someone having sudden onset paralysis is quite low and, although a whiplash type injury can cause spinal cord injury, most of the injuries are incomplete injuries where the patient will recover most of their neurological function. Any patient who is told that they must have surgery to prevent imminent paralysis should seek a confirmatory opinion from a board certified neurosurgeon.

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Dr. Deven Khosla, M.D.