The most persistent problem I encounter is not nerve pain or slipped discs. It’s the tenacious misconception that someone can be “too old” for spine surgery when it’s truly needed.

Many years ago, it was true that age played a significant factor in a person’s ability to tolerate and recover from surgery. Surgeries were once highly invasive, and recovery could take months. But over the decades, spinal surgery techniques have improved to the point that many of the octogenarians I operate on leave the hospital the day of their surgery to begin a pain-free life.