Effectively Preparing for Your Spinal Surgery Consultation

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Effectively communicating with your spinal surgeon is an important step on your way to recovering from your condition. Preparing a list of your questions and concerns will help you become a more informed and empowered patient, and it will help your doctor become more familiar with your condition as well.

Do Your Research

With the Internet, it’s easier than ever to research any topic you’re interested in. Search surgical treatment options for your type of condition. Create a list of the questions and concerns you have as you research. This will allow you to have a productive conversation with your spinal surgeon at your appointment. Discussing the pros and cons of each type of surgical option available to you will help you and your doctor find the best option for your specific circumstances.

Log Your Symptoms

Begin writing down your symptoms and pain levels throughout each day in a notebook. Rate your pain using a scale from zero to 10, where zero equals no pain and 10 equals excruciating pain. Note what you were doing when your pain gets worse or better. Many spinal conditions are challenging to detect and diagnose. Having several days of logged symptoms and pain levels will help your doctor diagnose your condition. Having a written record of your symptoms also means you don’t need to rely on your memory; it can be easy to forget significant information in the middle of a doctor’s appointment when you’re relying on your memory alone.

Keep an Open Mind

Doing research before your appointment will help you be more informed about different treatment options that may be available to you for treating your condition. However, it’s also important to keep an open mind when you meet with your doctor. Your doctor may have a different perspective on which treatment options are best for your circumstances. Take time to think about your options. Ask your doctor for more information about the options he’s recommending. Most physicians will be able to give you informational pamphlets regarding different treatment options so you can take time to look them over and think about your options at home before making a decision on what option is best for you.

Ask Questions

Write down a list of questions you want to ask your doctor before your appointment. Oftentimes, patients have questions they want to ask and forget when it’s time to meet with the doctor. While every patient is an individual and may have different questions, some commonly asked questions you might want to ask your doctor include:

  • What is the best procedure for my condition?
  • What is the outcome for patients who receive this procedure?
  • How long is the recovery process?
  • How much pain can I expect after the procedure?
  • What are the risks involved with this procedure?
  • Will I need physical therapy?

Get Started

Take the first step today. Call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey M. Epstein. He’ll be happy to talk with you about all of your treatment options, answer your questions, and address your concerns during your in-person consultation.