After deciding that spine surgery is the best option to improve your quality of life, schedule a separate pre-surgery appointment to ask questions. During the initial discussion about surgery, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or distracted, so taking time to determine what questions to ask can lead to much-appreciated peace of mind.
What is the specific source of my back pain?
Surgery is never recommended for back pain unless there’s an identified source. Your surgeon should be able to clearly show where the source is on your x-rays and other image test results.
Why are you recommending this procedure?
Unless there is a medical emergency, you probably have a few surgical options available. Your surgeon should have a solid reason for why they believe the recommended procedure is the one remedy that has the best odds of success.
Is there a minimally invasive surgical option?
If your recommended procedure isn’t considered minimally invasive spinal surgery, ask why this is the case. There’s a trend today towards procedures that combine the use of newer technologies to improve surgeon accuracy and reduce patient risk.
What would happen with my condition without surgery?
The purpose of spine surgery is to improve quality of life for patients. Weigh your options by getting a clear explanation of what would likely happen with your condition if you decided not to have surgery.
What is your experience with this procedure?
Each surgery has a different level of experience with various procedures. Knowing your surgeon’s success rate and personal experience performing the surgery can increase your confidence level. Also ask if you can speak with other patients.
What are you hoping to accomplish with this surgery?
You may expect to be free of pain while your board-certified spine surgeon may expect to reach a point where pain is manageable. Get on the same page to avoid post-surgery disappointment.
How long will it be before I can safely return to my normal activities?
Whether it’s returning to work or gardening, there are certain activities you hope to get back to doing after your surgery. Develop a clear understanding of the healing and recovery process.
To learn more about treatments for back pain or for a second opinion, reach out to Dr. Bae and his experienced team of diagnosticians and physicians at The Spine Institute Center in Los Angeles. Call (310) 828-7757 today and schedule a consultation.