If your doctor is recommending a surgical treatment for pain from a spine condition, here are 6 important questions to ask before you undergo surgery.
- Do you know the specific cause of my pain? Make sure that your doctor has found a well-defined source of pain that shows up on an MRI and through a complete physical examination.
- Can surgery help my particular problem? Some back problems respond better to surgery than others. Surgeries to address herniated disks, sciatica and spinal stenosis are routinely more successful than non-surgical treatment.
- What is the surgery’s chance of success? A good surgeon should be up front with you about the likelihood that surgery will help your pain form a spine condition.
- Why did my non-surgical treatments not work? Before you decide to undergo spine surgery, make sure you have discussed your history of non-surgical treatments with your surgeon.
- How many surgeries like this have you performed? You should choose a surgeon who routinely performs the procedure and who concentrates solely on spine surgery.
- What will my recovery be like? You need to know how long your recovery is likely to take and what kind of participation is expected of you.