Don’t Get Bulldozed. How to find a Spine Specialist.

Don’t Get Bulldozed. How to find a Spine Specialist.

Don’t Get Bulldozed. How to find a Spine Specialist.

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There is a specialist for almost any illness, symptom or injury. Once the decision has been made that more specialized care is necessary, finding someone you can trust is the most difficult thing to do. As spine surgery is the specialty of this practice, we’ll explain how to pick a spine surgeon.

Let’s talk…

You can get a referral from your primary, look them up online, or ask friends or relatives for recommendations.  You should start with a list. Included in that should be everything that is important for you to know about a physician.

Questions to be answered before the appointment

How many times have they done this surgery?

What percentage of patients seen, actually have surgery?

What is the success rate?

Do they follow a strict protocol, for example, MRI’s, injections, nerve blocks, ablations and then surgery?

Who profits from all of this?

Who owns the radiology practice and the surgery center?

How long will this treatment take?

How much will it cost?

Things to remember while you are looking for a spine surgeon.

You are a patient with a problem, not a number.

You want an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon who has done a Spine Fellowship

If you are not neurologically impaired, conservative care should be tried first.

Look up the tests/ treatments recommended, and the reasoning behind them.

If one epidural steroid injection doesn’t have an effect on your pain, more are unlikely to help. (Don’t waste your time or money).

A nerve block should be done one level at a time in order to see which level is symptomatic. (If they are done all at once, you will never know what is actually causing the pain).

A discogram generally causes more pain that its worth (and often increases disc degeneration, according to studies).

A physician should be the person who reviews your films and history, not an “intake coordinator”. It should also be a physician who recommends surgery.

No matter who you end up seeing, and what they recommend, get a second opinion. This is your only spine, don’t be bulldozed and don’t jump at anything.

Most back pain gets better with 3 months. If you can get through it, you will be much better off. Use ice and anti-inflammatories, not narcotics. Time is your friend.

Citations

  • Premkumar A, Godfrey W, Gottschalk MB, Boden SD. Red Flags for Low Back Pain Are Not Always Really Red: A Prospective Evaluation of the Clinical Utility of Commonly Used Screening Questions for Low Back Pain. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2018 Mar 7;100(5):368-374. PubMed PMID: 29509613

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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