Questions to ask your spine surgeons about neck or back pain
Many people assume that if they are going to see a spine surgeon that they are going to need surgery. This couldn’t be further than the truth. Actually, 90% of the people with back pain and/or neck pain will recover without surgical intervention. Therapy, medication management and injections are all conservative treatment options which are explored.
At the Texas Back Institute we want you to get the most out of your appointment with one of our spine surgeons. Dr. Richard Guyer, orthopedic spine surgeon and founding partner of Texas Back Institute in Dallas, TX tells us what questions you should ask your surgeon and what you should know before making the decision to have spine surgery.
- Ask your surgeon to clearly explain your diagnosis.
- Make sure you understand your diagnosis, exactly what your diagnosis means, and what your treatment options are.
- Ask your surgeon what conservative treatment options are available.
- Exhaust all conservative treatment options before considering surgery, including medication management, physical therapy and injections.
- Ask your surgeon if you really need surgery.
- Know what the progression of your condition may be.
- Make sure you know what makes a patient a good candidate for the surgery you are considering, and if you fit the criteria.
- Find out if there is a minimally invasive option for your surgery.
- Minimally invasive spine surgery is about doing as little damage as possible to the tissues of the body but still getting optimal results. It’s not necessarily about the use of lasers which are just one of many tools used for this surgery
- Ask the basic complications of any surgery.
- This includes the expected infection rate, the expected chance of injury to the nerve, the expected relief of pain and recovery of nerve function.
- Ask what your recovery will be like.
- What will your activities immediately after surgery and in the weeks after surgery be like?
Overall, we want to make sure that all our patients have their questions answered and are comfortable with their decision to have spine surgery.