Spinal disc replacement is becoming more common as technology and surgical techniques improve, but that doesn’t mean you should just book your replacement operation and leave everything else to your surgeon. Odds are you’ll have some questions and anxiety, and talking to your surgical team prior to your operation can help ease these fears and actually improve your post op-post outcomes. In today’s blog, we look at some of helpful questions to ask your surgeon before your disc replacement operation.
7 Questions To Ask
Here’s a look at seven questions to ask your spine surgeon before your disc replacement operation:
1. Is Surgery The Only Option? – Odds are you’ve exhausted some non-operative options before this point, but if you can recover without surgery, that tends to be the preferred route. Ask your surgeon if there are any non-surgical treatments they would recommend instead of surgery.
2. How Familiar Are You With The Procedure? – How many of these procedures has your neurosurgeon performed? You want someone with a wealth of experience performing your disc replacement operation, and a good surgeon will never be annoyed that you’re asking about their experience. If you don’t like their answer, find another surgeon.
3. What Can I Do To Help? – While you can’t help during the operation, how you conduct yourself in the days and weeks leading up to your surgery can help. Ask how your diet or exercise regimen can help your body prepare for surgery.
4. What Can I Expect After Surgery? – Assuming all goes as planned, what can you expect days, weeks and months after surgery? Talk about the short-term and long-term changes you can expect assuming the surgery is a success.
5. When Can I Return To Work/Activities? – One of the most common questions we hear from patients is when they’ll be able to return to work or partake in some of their favorite physical activities again. Your doctor will have a clearer outlook as you progress through rehab, but they can give you a general timeline based on your needs and desires.
6. What Will Rehab Be Like? – Will you be up and moving shortly after surgery? Will you need to partake in rehab sessions twice a week for a month or two? Ask about your rehab plan so you can begin mentally preparing for the work you’ll need to put in.
7. Are There Any Risks I Should Know About? – Every surgery carries some risk, but doctors are very good at minimizing these risks and achieving successful outcomes. With that said, many patients often find peace of mind when they are more educated about the risks and the ways their surgeon will work to mitigate these risks.
For more information about disc replacement surgery, or to talk to a specialist about your back pain, reach out to Dr. Chang’s office today.