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Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Surgery

The goal of orthopedic treatment is to relieve pain and restore function. In planning your treatment, your doctor will consider many things, including your age, activity level, and general health. If nonsurgical treatment methods, such as medication and physical therapy, do not relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Your doctor and healthcare team will provide you with information to help you prepare for surgery. Never hesitate to ask questions. The following list of questions can help you in your discussions with your doctor before your surgery.

  • Why is this procedure being recommended? Are there alternatives?
  • What are the benefits of this procedure in terms of pain relief, functioning/mobility? How long will the benefit last?
  • What are the risks involved?
  • What is the success rate for this procedure?
  • What is the procedure called? How is it done?
  • Will this surgery solve the problem? Will any more surgery be required in the future?
  • How many of these procedures are annually performed at this hospital?
  • What percentage of patients improve following the procedure?
  • What will happen if I don’t have the surgery now?
  • If I want a second opinion, whom can I consult?
  • Will I need any tests or medical evaluations prior to the surgery?
  • What kind of anesthesia will be used? Are there possible after effects or risks? Will I meet with the anesthesiologist in advance?
  • Will her or she know my needs/allergies?
  • What kind of implant or prosthesis will be used? What are the outcomes using this device? How long will it last?
  • Will I have pain following the procedure? What pain relief or pain control measures will I be given?
  • How long will the recovery take? What are my limitations during recovery? Will I need assistance at home afterwards? For how long? What will discharge instructions be?
  • Will I have any disability following surgery? Will I need physical therapy?
  • When can I return to work? When can I drive my car? When can I have sexual activity?
  • Are there any materials about this surgery that I can review?
  • As the patient, you should request and/or confirm that the surgeon will preoperatively confirm and mark the surgical site.

What is orthopedics?

Orthopedics (alternatively, orthopedics) is a medical specialty focused on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions, disorders, and injuries of the muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.
A doctor who specializes in this medical specialty is called an orthopedic (alternatively, orthopedic) surgeon or orthopedist.

What is an epidural?

An epidural is a steroid injection used to help decrease the inflammation of spinal nerves to help relieve pain in the neck, back, arms, and legs from conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and radiculopathy. Cortisone is injected directly into the spinal canal, and some patients only need one injection to relieve pain. However, it normally requires two or three injections to provide significant pain relief.

Is there a difference between Neurosurgery and Orthopedic Spine Surgery?

There are two different pathways for surgeons to become spine surgeons, Orthopedics and Neurosurgery. The critical issues for patients to probe with their prospective surgeons are twofold- Is your spine surgeon fellowship-trained in spine surgery, and Is their practice dedicated solely to treating conditions of the spine.

What is an occupational therapist?

Occupational therapists are licensed by the state and specialize in the treatment of the upper extremity and work injuries. The services provided by occupational therapists include patient education, joint range of motion, adaptive techniques, splinting, and workplace evaluations.

Why should I choose Spine care Specialists?

We deliver state-of-the-art in spine care to our patients with an emphasis on personal care and attention to each and every patient in a warm and friendly environment. We have a highly experience Spine care team that strives to ensure seamless end-to-end care for our patients.

Our surgeons are the only board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeons in the area with a practice that is dedicated solely to treating spine conditions. Our state-of-the-art facility allows us to deliver the full spectrum of spine care to our patients, including in-house imaging and rehabilitation services.

We recognize the special considerations with treating the injured worker. Our systems are geared towards reducing unnecessary delays for case workers. Our treatment approach is focused on shortening the recovery period for the injured worker while minimizing patient discomfort at all times.

I live in the South Suburbs of Chicago – how far is Spine Care Specialists from Illinois?

We treat many patients from the South Suburbs of Chicago and are located just minutes from the Illinois border.

Is all spine surgery bad?

Spine Care Specialists is conservative in its treatment approach. Surgical treatments are recommended only after conservative and minimally invasive treatment options have failed or are not felt to be appropriate. In the event that surgery is required, our approach is geared towards ensuring the best outcomes for our patients.

We believe strongly in performing only those procedures that have been validated in the literature. We remain at the forefront of spine developments, and where appropriate perform surgeries using the latest techniques with proven outcomes. In addition, our operating practices are geared towards decreasing the operative time, with significantly reduced recovery times, and low post-operative complications.

I don’t want surgery for my back pain, should I still make an appointment?

Yes. We treat the majority of our patients non-surgically with great success. In fact, surgery is recommended in a small percentage of patients based on their condition and usually after conservative treatment options have been tried without success.

The critical first step to ensuring the best treatment approach for spine conditions is an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis. Spine Care Specialists is the only group with fellowship trained Spine surgeons with world-class training and a dedicated focus on spine care that ensures that all patients are treated appropriately with the best possible outcomes at all times.

What is a physical therapist?

Physical therapists are licensed by the state, specializing in therapy programs for musculoskeletal injuries and disorders, sports injuries, post-operative rehabilitation, and massage therapy.