A good spine surgeon has the training, skill and experience to treat conditions that affect the neck, back and spine.
Some spine surgeons specialize in the correction of congenital deformities that affect children. There are also spine surgeons that treat chronic conditions like arthritis and back pain, as well as the complications that these conditions cause.
A primary care physician will recommend the type of spine surgeon that is best suited to treat an individual’s specific illness.
5 Questions and answers about spine surgery
In a nutshell, a spine surgeon works to restore function and mobility to their patients’ bodies. Whenever possible, a spine surgeon will choose conservative treatments to treat conditions of the neck, back and spine. This means that surgery is always a last resort to provide a good, permanent outcome for their patients.
To feel better about upcoming spine surgery, a patient should get answers to the most important questions concerning their surgery.
1. What type of spine surgery does the surgeon recommend?
The spine surgeon will answer this question by stating the type of surgery that they recommend. They will go into the reason why that particular surgery is the best option given the patient’s circumstances.
The surgeon will walk their patient through the surgery. First, they will use medical imaging to show the patient the problem that needs correcting. Then the surgeon will walk their patient through the surgery, again with the help of visual aids. They will let the patient know how different aspects of the surgery will help to correct the patient’s medical condition or injury.
2. Are there alternatives to the procedure?
The answer to this question is almost always "No, there is not a better alternative". A spine surgeon will always choose the approach that is most conservative and that can yield the best outcome. They will explore all other options before they recommend surgery.
A spine surgeon will only settle for surgery if it is the only option that will yield permanent results and a good long-term outcome.
3. What are the benefits of the surgery?
The surgeon will answer this question by telling the patient about the expected results of the surgery in the short, mid and long term. The doctor will explain how they expect the patient’s quality of life to improve in the months and years following the surgery.
4. What are the risks associated with this particular surgical procedure?
Every surgical procedure carries the risk of surgical complications. A spine surgeon will be honest with the patient by laying out all the risks before asking for the patient’s go-ahead. In fact, all surgeons are required to explain the risks of a given procedure to their patients before they ask said patient to sign off on the procedure.
5. What happens if the patient chooses not to have the surgery?
The spine surgeon will tell their patient what their life would be like without surgical intervention. This kind of information helps a person to weigh the risk of the surgery against the benefits of the surgery.
The bottom line
The decision to undergo spine surgery is not an easy one. It should only be made by a person with enough good information to weigh the pros and cons of the procedure.
If you have a condition that needs surgical intervention from a spine surgeon, we invite you to contact our clinic today.
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