1. Prepare for your consultation- When you’re in pain, it can be difficult to describe your situation to a doctor. Consider what activities aggravate your pain (sitting, standing, sleeping, etc). Researching questions that the surgeon will ask ahead of time can help tremendously since you will have more time to consider the best way to answer their questions. Doing some pre-appointment homework can be beneficial to more accurately describe your medical history as well as your family’s if needed. Consider writing down some details of you pain as you experience it so it can be best described and interpreted by the doctor.
2. Truly understand the cause of your pain- A misdiagnosis is the most common cause of a failed spine surgery. This is why our philosophy has always been “The First Step is an Accurate Diagnosis“. Together, you and your doctor should be able to confidently pinpoint the most accurate diagnosis and condition before surgery is even considered. Sometimes surgery is the only way to correct a problem. Other times, pain management procedures and physical therapy can greatly benefit a patient and reduce their pain. Understanding where your specific condition falls is critical in making a decision with your surgeon to proceed with surgery or not.
3. Consider scope, healing time, and expected amount of pain relief– In the end it is up to the patient to determine if surgery is the right choice for them. Surgeons should accurately lay out all of the options for you along with the pros and cons to each. There are many surgical and non-surgical options available to patients for conditions of the back and neck. While the professional opinion of a board certified orthopedic surgeon is important, only the patient can judge the amount of pain they are suffering from, and if the particular procedure with its potential benefits are right for them.
At Spine Surgery Associates there is nothing more valuable than experience. Combined, our physicians have over 80 years of experience. We truly have a comprehensive team with skills and wisdom learned from valued time spent with thousands of patients. If you or a loved one have a spinal issue or even a question do not hesitate to contact us.