Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Spine Doctor Before Surgery

Lower back pain is the most common cause for disability worldwide with 31 million Americans recorded to have experienced lower back pain on some occasion. This makes the consideration of back surgery come as no surprise as chronic back pain can be one of the most difficult ailments to live with. Just the thought of back surgery can be overwhelming, not to mention all of the unclear medical jargon that may be thrown your way.

The last thing that you should do is agree to or decide against a medical procedure without knowing the facts. You may have been provided a pamphlet or referred to a website for FAQ’s but it is important that you have a one-on-one consultation with your spine doctor. Make sure to include these 5 questions in your discussion:

Why do I need surgery?

Surgery may have been suggested, but you may not be fully aware why it is the suggested course of action. Your spine doctor can make you aware of the severity of your spinal injuries that are causing your chronic back pain. It is possible that surgery may just be a suggested method and not the required method. In that case, you have the freedom to seek alternative treatments.

What type of spine surgery are you recommending?

Ask your spine doctor to explain the recommended surgery. There are various spinal cord surgeries and it isn’t up to you to assume which procedure you’ll undergo. Don’t be afraid to ask specific details including:

  • What instruments will be used?
  • Where in the spinal column will surgery take place?
  • How large will the incision be?

The more that you know of the specifics of the procedure, the more comforting it can be going into the procedure.

What are the benefits of having the operation?

Discover what you will gain from the surgery. Aside from the obvious result of relieved back pain, you can inquire about how quick you can expect to be back to work or why surgery is the most effective course of action for your specific case.

What are the risks of having the operation?

As much as you should be aware of the benefits, you should be aware of the potential risks of the procedure. Particular procedures are more complex than others which increases the risks. You should also inquire about any possible side effects.

What if I choose not to have this operation?

Have your spine doctor detail what you should experience if you do not undergo surgery. This question should be accompanied by “Are there any alternate procedures that can correct my spine issues?”

Spine surgery is a serious procedure and it is vital that you are fully informed on the entire process. Marc Cohen specializes in minimally invasive procedures and has experience working with individuals of the New Jersey area to seek resolution to their chronic back pain. Contact the Spine Institute at one of our many locations to schedule your appointment today.