This is an entirely new experience for you. You’ve been to the doctor plenty of times in your life. You’ve seen a couple specialists. You’ve even made your way into the hospital to have a broken bone mended. But this is a completely different kind of doctor’s visit.
It’s not a broken arm. It’s not a bad cough. It’s your back. And you’re nervous. You’re nervous you might hear the worst news – that you need spine surgery.
You’re picturing the spine surgery center as a place with people in pain – people recovering from their procedures. You’re imagining a hospital but worse.
But it’s nothing like that. You’ll be welcomed warmly at your NJ spine surgery center and will fill out any necessary paperwork – the usual. Then you’ll be brought in to see the doctor.
Your doctor will have a long discussion with you, making sure he understands the pain your feeling, when it started, and how long it’s been going on for. He’ll ask you a series of questions about your pain as he needs as much information as possible. Before visiting your NJ spine surgery center, make sure you note as much information about your pain as possible. Pay attention to the type of pain you feel. Note how long it lasts and when you usually feel it. Jot down any specific positions you feel it more severely in. Take note of any activities that make it worse. You get the idea.
Come prepared with all that information on a piece of paper. You think it would be easy to know off the top of your head but you’d be surprised just how much you get “used to” the pain and don’t even realize the specifics.
After your surgeon completely understands your history and pain from your perspective, it’ll be time to run some tests, including x-rays among others. He’ll then have a better idea of what’s causing your pain and the severity of the issue.
Then, he may call for additional tests or may have all the information he needs. You’ll discuss treatment options. A good surgeon will be patient with you and give you all the time you need, answering all your questions and making sure you’re comfortable with the direction of your treatment.
And your surgeon should recommend exhausting all non-surgical treatment options before resorting to surgery (unless your condition is so severe that surgery is the only option). That’s another fear you might have had – that, as soon as you walk into an NJ spine surgery center, it means you’re going to have surgery. And that’s just not true. Spine surgeons want to do everything they can to keep you from surgery – the good ones anyway. They know that, no matter how good they are, there is still risk and they want to avoid that risk.
Before surgery, they’ll likely recommend you try things like physical therapy, steroids, and medication. At your visit, you’ll agree on a treatment plan that you’re comfortable with and get started. And that’s all you should expect from your first visit to an NJ spine surgery center.