Deciding whether or not to have spine surgery is likely the biggest decision you’ve ever had to make. You’ve heard the celebrations and the sob stories. You know there are risks, even with the most gifted spine surgeon doing the simplest procedure. But you also know it’s safer than it’s ever been.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is to ask the right questions. There are questions you should ask before making your decision and after making your decision. And there are questions you should ask the surgeon himself. But, it’s such a complicated topic, you might not even know where to start. So here are some questions to get you started. If you ask these, you’ll have a good base knowledge to know if spine surgery is right for you and you’ll understand what to expect.
Before Signing on with a New Jersey Spine Surgeon
The first question you should ask has nothing to do with spine surgery at all. You should ask your potential New Jersey spine surgeon, “If I don’t receive treatment, how will my condition progress on its own?” Don’t assume you need spine surgery. And, if you don’t feel you’re getting the complete answer, get a second opinion. Ask about alternative treatments. If your surgeon doesn’t want to try all alternative treatments before recommending surgery, definitely get a second opinion. All methods should be exhausted before surgery.
Next, make sure you understand the specific surgery being recommended. Ask, “How will this procedure help me more than other procedures?” Ask if it’s minimally invasive – many procedures can be done with minimal invasion today and that greatly reduce risk. Make sure you have a good understanding of the procedure you’ll be getting, what it entails, and how exactly it helps – versus other procedures. If your surgeon isn’t patient enough to explain it all to you, it might be time to find a different one.
After Accepting Surgery as Your Treatment Plan
After you and your New Jersey spine surgeon both agree that surgery is the best way to go and you fully understand the procedure being recommended, there are still a few questions you should ask.
First, ask about all the risks. Make sure you understand what they are and are prepared for them. If there are any complications during the surgery, you’ll want to know the surgeon’s strategy to deal with them. You’ll want to understand what the treatment plan is for them so you’ll know what you’re in store for if the worst case scenario does happen. It’s about being prepared.
And finally, ask about your recovery. Ask about how you’ll have to adjust your life for the recovery process post-surgery. You may have to rearrange your house or buy certain items for your home to enhance your recovery. You want to be prepared for this. Find out how long the recovery will take and what limitations you’ll be dealing with.
If you ask those questions, you’ll be as prepared as possible for your spinal surgery. Don’t be shy. A good New Jersey spinal surgeon will be happy to answer all your questions and make you feel comfortable.