If you are seeking treatment for a spine condition that’s been causing you chronic back pain, you may benefit from talking to an experienced spine surgeon. The more questions you ask, the more confidence you will have in the doctor and in the procedure itself. The surgeon may even recommend minimally invasive treatments that don’t involve surgery.
Asking relevant questions will also help you understand the spine procedure, including what to expect during and after the treatment. Here are a few important questions you may want to ask your spine surgeon:
What treatment procedures do you recommend for my back pain?
Your spine surgeon may recommend various types of treatment procedures. Does the doctor recommend surgery, nonsurgical treatment, or a combination of both? And why?
Be wary of a spine surgeon who is being too pushy about a certain procedure, especially if it is highly invasive and you’re unsure whether your back pain really requires such drastic measures. This is the time to make observations. The right spine surgeon will make you feel comfortable with the decisions and discussions; get a second opinion if you’re unsure of the doctor’s conclusions.
What happens if the condition is left untreated?
Most spine conditions do not require surgical treatment, especially if they are addressed early. Oftentimes, conservative treatment methods can be just as effective for degenerative spinal conditions, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, and various types of back pain. These treatments include pain-relief injections and tiny implanted pain-relief devices.
What can I expect from the procedure? What is your success rate for it?
If the doctor recommends surgery, find out as much as you can about the procedure. Check their success rate with performing the surgery. If you are not getting solid statistics about their success, you might consider getting a second opinion.
One tip is to ask how often the doctor performs it in any given year. This will give you an idea of how experienced they are at the procedure. An orthopedic practice specializing in spine surgery is likely to perform spine surgeries virtually every day.
What are the risks associated with the procedure?
Every treatment has benefits as well as risks. It is important that you have a full understanding of the risks as well as the potential long-term consequences of the procedure, if any. Your comfort is a top priority when it comes to your treatment plans.
What will rehabilitation and recovery be like?
If you are having surgery, rehabilitation is a vitally important aspect of the recovery process. Your surgeon will give you clear instructions, but it’s ideal to know what recovery is going to be like beforehand.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask:
- How long will it be before I can walk again?
- Will I be using assistive devices? If so, for how long?
- Will I be on prescription pain medication, and if so, for how long?
- How long should I expect to miss work?
Spine Surgeon in Rochester Hills, MI
Here at Ahlgren Spine, our medical team is up-to-date on the most advanced treatment methods for neck and back pain. Our goal is to relieve the persistent and chronic pain that is debilitating, and which is preventing you from living a normal and active lifestyle.
Our spine surgeons will carefully explain what your options are for treatment. To schedule a consultation, call Ahlgren Spine today at (248) 215-8080 or fill out our appointment request form now. We look forward to serving you.