Over half a million people opt to have some sort of back or spinal surgery over the course of a single year.
If you're dealing with moderate to severe back pain, or if you have mobility issues, you've probably thought about meeting with an orthopedic surgeon.
Still, with so much information out there and conflicting advice, it can sometimes be a challenge to understand what you need to talk to your surgeon or spine specialist about when you meet with them to discuss your options.
If this sounds familiar, please keep on reading.
In this article, we will tell you a few of the most important questions to ask during the pre-surgery interview.
Then, we'll tell you who you can rely on to help you get the best treatments -- whether spinal injections or surgery -- in your area.
Read on to decide whether or not surgery is the right move for you, and to feel more empowered no matter which choice you end up making.
1. Do I Have Non-Surgical Options?
Believe it or not, one of the most important questions you'll need to ask during pre-surgery interview time with the surgeon is whether or not surgery really is your only option.
In today's world, you may consider get injections, forms of physical therapy, or other, less invasive, ways to cure your back pain.
Be aware that non-surgical options will likely depend on what's wrong, the severity of your pain, and even your age and current health conditions.
2. What Should I do to Prepare for the Surgery?
When you meet with your orthopedic surgeon, you need to ask about pre-surgery preparations.
In some cases, you may need to go off your medications, refrain from eating or drinking, as well as making sure you have proper after-care and transportation options.
Always disclose any and all medications and health conditions to your surgeon before your procedure.
3. What are the Risks and Potential Side Effects?
While we wish we didn't have to include this on our list of what to ask your orthopedic surgeon before a procedure, you need to understand the worst case scenario.
Fully understanding the potential risks and side effects associated with a surgery will help you to weigh whether or not the surgery is truly worth it. You should also ask about the results that you can expect to receive.
You want to manage your expectations, but you also need to be sure that undergoing a major surgery will truly alleviate your pain and improve your conditions.
Ask about the most common side effects and risks, and if there's anything you can do to lessen your chances of them happening to you.
You may want to get a second opinion if the potential risks are on the more severe side.
4. Are you Board Certified?
What is one of the most important questions that you need to ask anyone performing a procedure on you or someone you love?
Whether or not they're board certified. You can check on verification websites like this one to ensure they're telling you the truth. You should also ask about how many years they've been in practice, as well as their experience with the specific issue you're dealing with.
Finally, ask about their education credentials, as well as how they are continuing their education as their practice grows. They should be a member of spine specialist groups, boards, and other associations.
5. What Should I Expect if I Opt not to have the Surgery?
When you meet with your orthopedic surgeon, you should also ask what the potential consequences are if you choose not to have the surgery.
For example, will your condition dramatically worsen? If so, what should you expect that timeline look like?
Is it possible to postpone the surgery, or is now truly the best time to do it?
6. What's the Success Rate?
You need to know the success rate that the surgeon performing your procedure has.
One of the best ways to do this is to directly speak to past patients who have had it.
This isn't to say that you shouldn't trust your surgeon. It's just a wonderful way to hear from someone in your exact situation whether or not they felt the recovery and the pain associated with the surgery was actually worth it.
Plus, you can also see how their quality of life has improved, and what they thought of their experience with your surgeon.
7. What's my Recovery Going to be Like?
Make sure you've taken the time to truly understand what you can expect the overall recovery process to look like. How long will you need to wait to go back to the gym? To bathe yourself? To drive?
What about physical therapy?
Will that need to be a part of your surgery recovery, or will you be back to normal in next to no time?
Looking for an Orthopedic Surgeon in your Area?
We hope that this post has helped you to understand some of the most important questions that you need to discuss with your orthopedic surgeon before you opt to have any kind of procedure.
Are you looking for the best quality of care possible?
We are here to help.
Spend some time on our website to learn more about the different kinds of spine treatment options we have to offer.
Then, get in touch with us to schedule your consultation as soon as possible.