Spine Expert Second Opinion

Why get an expert second opinion?

Finding out that you may need spinal surgery can cause anxiety and worry about being out of work or disrupting your active lifestyle.  Getting an expert second opinion can put your mind at ease. Dr. Marco Rodriguez is often called upon by patients from all over the United States for an expert second opinion and MRI review for spine surgery.  If a spine surgeon tells you that you need spinal surgery, it is always appropriate and normal to ask for a second opinion from an experienced spine surgeon before considering minimally invasive spine surgery. 

A recent study suggests that there are disagreements and inconsistencies between first and second opinions concerning diagnosis, need for surgery, and type of spine surgery.   The type of spine surgery offered can differ significantly based on the surgeon’s training, the lack of technological advancement or instruments and the surgeon’s philosophy on how to treat specific spinal conditions.  

  1. The first opinion may tell the patient that surgery is not an option, leaving the patient in pain and losing hope. However, a second opinion could lead to a surgical option. OR Vice Versa, the patient is told they need unnecessary spinal surgery
  2. The patient is offered two different surgical treatment options.  The different options typically are a result of a surgeon’s philosophy, training or experience. Furthermore, certain surgeons, hospitals or surgical centers don’t have advanced or new technological equipment and instruments.  Surgeons can only work with what they have available or experience with. 


Expert Second Opinion Review of MRI
Dr. Rodriguez discussing an MRI with his physician assistant

Patients should research their spinal condition and seek alternative treatment options to include nonsurgical, least invasive, endoscopic spine surgery, and minimally invasive spine surgery.  When we make important and expensive decisions we always research and ask opinions from experts.  Therefore, when it comes to having spine surgery,  one should seek an expert second opinion, so as to make the most informed decision on the best medical option for their needs.   

A Second Opinion could help you have better peace of mind

Having peace mind in your decision can alleviate a lot of worry and anxiety. Finding the right surgeon, the right treatment options can also save you money, time and increase your quality of life.  It is important to consider all aspects of your care and some of the following points:

  • Understand all possible treatment options to include surgical and non-surgical options that may help alleviate pain and avoid surgery
  • When spine surgery is needed, are there less invasive spine surgery options that could be performed. You may not need a minimally invasive spine surgery that was initially recommended.
  • Would you be a candidate for a spine fusion alternative such as artificial disc replacement (ADR)? In multiple studies, ADR has shown to be superior in outcomes to a neck surgery called – anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. (ACDF)
  • Finding the right care could lead to less time away from work, faster recovery and additional need for future surgery.

Our Spine Expert Second Opinion Process

Our spine second opinion process starts with you completing a Spine Pain Evaluation Form. This form and your MRI (within 3 months preferably) or CT scan of your back or neck, can be uploaded securely via the Internet or sent to PO Box 85007 Baton Rouge, LA 70884. Once we receive your form and MRI or CT scan, Dr. Rodriguez will review the MRI  to see if you are a candidate for least invasive spine surgery.   Your medical concierge will then contact you to discuss your options, whether surgical or nonsurgical.  


Fill Out The Pain Evaluation


2. Upload MRI
Securely upload your personal
MRI for our surgeon to review.

Click HERE to upload


3. Get an Expert Second Opinion
Choose to conduct a live 1-on-1 virtual
consultation with Dr. Rodriguez



The International Spine Institute was founded on offering the least invasive spine care treatment options for spinal conditions and back pain to patients here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the entire United States, Canada, and even internationally. We often get patients contacting us from all over the United States and the world that seek out our expert second opinion and the least invasive solutions to painful spine conditions they suffer from every day.

Dr. Rodriguez and his team take pride in offering personable, patient-focused care, which begins with a face-to-face appointment in his office. Your appointment with him will not be rushed in fact, you will have ample time to ask questions, tell your pain story.  Our patients deserve to have their worries, objections, and concerns answered so that they have peace of mind in their decision.  Dr. Rodrigeuz’s goal is to make sure that patients have all of the information they need to make an informed decision about surgery, and he remains available to answer any questions as they process the information. 

Schedule your spinal appointment today and let the team at International Spine Institute provide you with an accurate diagnosis and discuss the spine treatment options that is best for your condition.



Dr. Rodriguez understands his patients want to be seen as soon as possible and that they come from all over — not just Baton Rouge, LA.   Therefore, he reserves some of his clinic time to consult with patients via our live virtual consultation portal.  The Virtual Consult is a unique and convenient way for out-of-town patients (residents of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, South Carolina, and Ohio only) to get a qualified expert second opinion and see a board-certified spine surgeon for consultation, from the ease of their home or workplace. During your Virtual Consult you will have the opportunity to ask pertinent questions to get to know Dr. Rodriguez and understand his recommended plan to help you relieve your neck or back pain, restore your mobility, and regain your quality of life.


* There is a $350 fee associated with the 30-minute virtual consult with Dr. Rodriguez. This fee will be paid by credit or debit card before scheduling.


When you are ready to move forward with Dr. Rodriguez’s expert second opinion and schedule your surgery, we will need to verify your insurance and payment obligations. Dr. Rodriguez gladly accepts the workman’s compensation and all major commercial insurance policies as an out-of-network provider.  He does not participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs.

We understand that dealing with insurance companies can be very difficult and frustrating.  Many patients are not fully covered by insurance, which leads to worries and anxiety about whether or not the surgery we recommend is covered or affordable. We work with most insurance plans that have out-of-network benefits. We are committed to working with insurance providers to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses. Before your procedure, your financial responsibility will be clearly defined.




Financial Assistance

For our patients who can afford to pay cash or who have difficulty paying surgical fees not covered by their insurance provider, or even for some of those who do not have any insurance coverage at all, our financial assistance group works with our patients to make sure the treatment fees are as affordable as possible. We do this by working in cooperation with our financial partners to help secure the best rate possible for any financing you require. Most importantly, we’re here to help lessen the burden of the surgical fees as much as we possibly can.

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