The Vault

There will always be anxiety leading up to back surgery. One way to ease your anxiety is to ask questions. Some patients don’t have problems asking questions, but some aren’t. Spine Center of Texas urges you to talk to your surgeon no matter how simple you think your questions are.

Because patients nowadays have more access to information about healthcare, they have better chances of  understanding the possible outcomes of their condition. Being an informed patient can help in improving the quality of care you will receive since you understood what to expect before and after surgery. To help you, here are questions you can ask your spine surgeon before back surgery:

  • Why do you recommend this procedure?

The question seem simple, but necessary. If you’ve been suffering from back pain for such a long time that it already affects your everyday life, most surgeons would suggest conservative methods first such as physical therapy and pain management before recommending surgery.  Surgery would only be recommended when the conservative methods have failed. If surgery is the only thing left to do, your surgeon will recommend the procedure that will most likely improve your symptoms. This is something you should know before undergoing surgery.

  • Can the procedure be performed in a minimally invasive way?

Minimally invasive surgeries are continually progressing and more and more spine problems are being handles in this manner. Minimally invasive surgery is chosen by many since it involves less recovery time. The surgeon may suggest a minimally invasive procedure depending on the type of surgery you are having. Be sure to ask about the longer recovery time if you can’t undergo a minimally invasive surgery.

  • How many of these procedures do you perform in a week? In a month?

Asking this question will give you a good idea of the surgeon’s experience and expertise, and can help you make an informed decision about your care.  It can be reassuring to hear a surgeon say to you that he/she has performed that type of surgery all the time with positive results.

  • What are the surgical outcomes for this procedure?

When surgeons suggest back surgery, the major reason is that they aim to improve your quality of life. It’s unlikely for them to suggest surgery if your quality of life would not improve.  Knowing what to expect after surgery is just as important as knowing why it is being recommended.

  • How soon can I expect to return to the activities I enjoy?

Knowing the answer to this question gives you a timeline for your recovery and a date to look forward to. Just remember to follow the steps to take in order to have a  full and fast recovery.

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