Know when to contact a back surgery specialist

Knowing when to contact a back surgery specialist to receive surgical treatment for a degenerative spine condition can be difficult. On the one hand, you know that you’re in pain and perhaps nonsurgical treatments have failed to relieve your symptoms. On the other hand, the prospect of surgery can be intimidating and you aren’t sure you if you’re ready for an invasive procedure.

Simply gathering information from a back specialist does not obligate you to undergo surgery. Only if you have exhausted your conservative, nonsurgical treatments should you consider surgery. Even then, make sure you investigate your surgical options.

What Is a spine specialist?

If you’ve ever asked the question, “What is a spine specialist?” you may be surprised to know that there can be several answers. However, finding the specific type of back physician suited to your particular condition is important. For a herniated or bulging disc surgery, a neurologist or orthopedist can be recommended. If you are dealing with spinal arthritis, a rheumatologist or physiatrist may be more suited to your individual needs.

Some specialists do not perform surgery but can provide you with vital information. If you are only interested in your surgical options, though, an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon will likely be your best source of information. If you’re not sure how to find a spinal specialist, discuss the matter with your primary care physician and ask him or her for recommendations.

Questions to ask your spine specialist

When you meet with a back pain specialist about the option of surgery, make sure you go to your appointment having educated yourself about your condition. You may also want to do some preliminary research about the different types of spine surgeries that are available so you can ask questions.

Some patients find it helpful to go to the consultation with a written list of questions, or have a friend or family member accompany them who can assist in asking questions and providing moral support. If possible, do your best to find out the following information from any back and spine specialist you visit:

  • Would you recommend surgery for me?
  • What type of surgery and why?
  • How will my condition progress without surgery?
  • What will the recovery process be like?

Discuss the option of spine surgery with a specialist at Laser Spine Institute

If you are considering spine surgery as a means of treating the debilitating symptoms associated with a herniated disc, bulging disc or other degenerative spine condition, contact Laser Spine Institute and speak to one of our Patient Empowerment Consultants. They can tell you about our minimally invasive spine surgery and the benefits it has over traditional open spine surgery.

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, our orthopedic surgeons perform more minimally invasive spine procedures than any other spine center in the world. These procedures include minimally invasive decompression and stabilization options to treat a wide range of degenerative spine conditions without the increased risks and lengthy recovery^ of traditional open spine surgery.

Contact us today for your no-cost MRI review* to learn more about becoming a candidate for one of our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.