When remedies like physical therapy and an assortment of over-the-counter and prescription medications aren’t relieving your chronic lower back pain, back or spinal surgery is an option worth considering. You can, however, make your initial meeting more productive by taking steps to help your surgeon help you.
Document Your Previous Attempts at Relief
Your board-certified spine surgeon in Beverly Hills will have a better idea of what procedure to recommend if he or she clearly knows what you’ve already tried. Be specific with:
• Medications you’ve tried, including OTC remedies
• Physical therapy techniques you’ve attempted and what your response was after performing the exercises
• How long you’ve tried previous treatments and whether or not you had any level of relief
Provide Previous Imaging Studies
In addition to records of previous physical exams, include any imaging study results. Imaging studies typically include diagnostic test results along with a thorough analysis of what’s going on with the muscles, joints, and bones supporting your back. Previous studies can also make it easier to document changes in your condition.
Get Everything You Need During the Appointment
Reduce your anxiety by taking care of things like medication refills and paperwork issues in person during your consultation. Crossing smaller chores off your “to-do” list can allow you to focus more on what’s being said rather than what you need to get done.
Don’t Take Your Frustration Out on Your Surgeon
Remember that any surgeon you see wants to help you feel better. While it’s understandable to be frustrated over what may be years of ongoing back pain and discomfort, taking your anger out on your surgeon is only going to create an uncomfortable level of tension during your appointment.
Have Realistic Expectations
The purpose of most spine surgeries is to either decompress the nerve that’s believed to be causing immediate or radiating pain or stabilize part of the spine to minimize discomfort aggravated by movement. Ask questions and do some research on your own to determine what type of relief is realistic to expect. In some cases, you may only reach a point where your discomfort is manageable.
If you’d like to speak with a spine surgeon about possible back pain solutions, including spinal fusion or motion-preserving back surgery, call The Spine Institute Center at (310) 828-7757. The path to a pain-free lifestyle starts here.