As of 2019, more than 1.62 million instrumented spinal surgeries were performed annually in the United States. As these procedures are on the rise, you may find yourself in need of spinal surgery. Although spinal surgery may sound intimidating, your surgeon has likely performed many similar procedures before. As you prepare for surgery, here are some important questions to ask your spinal surgeon that may help you feel more at ease.
What Are the Risks?
One of the most important questions to ask before your surgery is about the risks of the procedure. Every surgery comes with risks, and it is important to discuss these risks with your doctor beforehand.
Not only is it important to know the risks of surgery, but it is also important to know the risks of not having surgery. The best spinal surgeons will be able to help you understand the pros and cons of the procedure and why they think it might be the right decision for you.
How Long Will Recovery Take?
Spinal surgeries are serious procedures, and recovery will take time. You should ask your doctor about the recovery time for your specific surgery, and make sure you are on the same page about what life after surgery will look like.
Other questions to ask about your recovery are what activities you will be allowed to do and when, and what kind of care you will need going forward. This guide on what to expect after spine surgery might help you think of other questions you might have about your recovery.
Will I Need Physical Therapy?
With spinal surgeries, physical therapy is often an important part of the process. You might need to see a physical therapist before and/or after surgery to achieve optimal results.
Check with your surgeon to find out if physical therapy is necessary in your case, and make a plan for before and/or after your surgery. Physical therapy can be a key step to recovery, so it is important to find out if this will be a part of your after-surgery plan.
Why Is This the Best Procedure For Me?
There are different types of spine surgery, and each of them comes with different risks and advantages. For example, if you have a herniated disc, you may either have it removed with fusion of the surrounding discs, or you may have an artificial disc inserted in its place.
Because there are different surgical options for many spinal conditions, you should ask your doctor why they are recommending a specific procedure for you. Ask about alternative procedures and find out the pros and cons of each option.
Finding the Best Spinal Surgeon
If you are looking for a spinal surgeon or spine center near you, asking your primary care doctor for recommendations may be a good place to start. If you are looking for spine surgery in Nashville, TN, we would love to welcome you to the Howell Allen Clinic, which has twenty locations in the area.
Once you choose a spinal surgeon, if they recommend surgery, be sure to sit down with them and ask any questions you have before the procedure. Most surgeons are happy to discuss your questions and concerns, and this will allow you to be more at ease with the procedure.