After two weeks in traction due to a construction accident, a surgeon came into my room and told me he wanted to operate. I hobbled out of the hospital and started interviewing people who were not doctors as to the success of their similar operations.
That lead me to a series of about five or six doctors until I could find one who actually seemed to know what he was talking about. With his help, I was able to come back to 98% health without surgery, with only remnant symptoms and a missing reflex today.
Had I just listened to the first doctor, or even the first few, they'd have fused my spine or whatever the hell primitive crap they loved to charge for back in the 80s and I"d probably be in constant pain today.
The more sources of information, the merrier.