Questions for the Spine Surgeon

Questions for the Spine Surgeon

Questions for the Spine Surgeon

0


Have you been told you need Spinal Surgery? If possible, it is always wise to get a second opinion. But wait!  Do your homework first. This is what I would do before seeing a spine surgeon for a second opinion….
1.  Go with a trusted friend or family member. Two sets of ears and two brains are better than one. When given large amounts of information at an already stressful time, a second person is necessary to listen, document, and keep you on track, as you are making decisions.
2. Do your homework on the Surgeon you will see. When did they graduate? How long have they been practicing and do they have longevity at the location they are at? Where does the surgeon operate?  What is the reputation of the surgical facility?  Spend some time researching the surgeon on the internet, talk to other people, and talk to your PCP.
3. Make sure to bring all the diagnostic studies needed to evaluate the need of the surgery.  That will include the actual images of the X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, etc.  Just the reports by themselves are not enough.   To make an analogy, these studies are the blueprint of your anatomy.  Decisions for the type of surgery are based on the anatomy.  While reports may indicate a finding, the description of the findings often differ from each reader of the test.  The Surgeon will want to review the “blueprints” themselves before making the recommendation for a particular surgery.
So, these are the steps you should take before the visit.  Now, let’s move on the questions that you should ask the surgeon.

1.  Based on my examination, workup and treatment history, can surgery be beneficial?
2. Have I exhausted the reasonable non-surgical options?
3.  Is there more than one surgical option?
4.  Is the surgery recommended by my Surgeon a reasonable option?
5. What are the specific risks of the recommended surgery?
6. What are the reasons I can expect a successful surgical outcome?
7.  Can you define what is considered a successful outcome for the surgery?
8.  Can you predict my chances for achieving that successful outcome?
9. What are the reasons I may not have a successful surgical outcome?
10. What are the risks of not having surgery?
11. If you or a member of your family were in my situation, would you proceed with the surgery?
12.  If the surgery is not successful, is there another option for my situation in the future?
One factor that can be significant to some is whether that particular surgeon participates in your insurance plan.  While finances are important, the outcome of the surgery often depends on your confidence that you are doing the right thing. If you have a particular surgeon you want to see, please see that person.  Even if the surgeon is not on your plan, the peace of mind knowing that the planned surgery is appropriate, is worth the extra expense.  It is after all, a second opinion.  You just want to be confident that the planned surgery, by your initial surgeon, is a reasonable solution to your problem.

 

Citations

  • Wilson TJ, Franz E, Vollmer CF, Chang KW, Upadhyaya C, Park P, Yang LJ. Patient-perceived surgical indication influences patient expectations of surgery for degenerative spinal disease. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2017 Jun;157:11-16. PubMed PMID: 28359906

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Disclosure Statement

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.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

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
Please note all articles, blogs and Q&A’s on this site are general information and are not to be used as medical advice for individuals. No specific diagnosis or treatment should be made based on this information. Only a physician can provide you with advice specific to your situation. Please followup with your physician if you would like to discuss your individual condition.

If you are having a medical emergency,  contact your Doctor immediately,  or go to the Emergency Room.
ShimSpine and ShimSpine.com is committed to honoring and respecting the privacy and anonymity of the individuals using its website(s) and/or services. The purpose of this Privacy Policy is to inform the individuals about the collection, processing and protection of information done by ShimSpine what information we collect, why we collect this information and how we use this information.

This Privacy Policy will be reviewed regularly to reflect the up-to-date practices of ShimSpine.