20 Questions to Ask Your Spine Doctor Before You Have Back Surgery

Spine Conditions
Finding out that your spine problems require surgery can feel overwhelming and scary. You may wonder how risky the procedure is, how much pain you will have post-op, and how long it will take to recover.
However, the top spine surgeons, like Dr. Sharma, are always happy to answer your questions so you can prepare for this major event in your life.
Before your next appointment, take some time to brainstorm some of the issues you would like to discuss with your spine doctor. Here is a list of 20 questions to help you get started:
1. What type of spine surgery are you recommending and why?
2. Will you explain the procedure I will be having?
3. Do I have any non-surgical options?
4. If I do not have this surgery, what is the natural course of my condition?
5. How long will my surgery take?
6. Are there any side effects or possible complications?
7. What specific risks do I have personally?
8. What happens if you encounter a different or additional spine issue during my surgery, other than what you expected?
9. Will you be performing the entire procedure? If not, who else will be participating in my surgery?
10. What is the long-term outlook of the proposed procedure? For example, will the operation ever need to be re-done?
11. What kind of pain should I expect after the surgery and for how long?
12. How long should I expect to stay in the hospital?
13. How will my pain be managed in the hospital?
14. Which pain medications will I be sent home with?
15. What type of equipment will I need after the surgery (back brace, walker, etc.)?
16. How long should I wait to bathe?
17. How long will I be out of work or school?
18. What kind of help will I need around the house when I leave the hospital?
19. When can I resume normal activities, like performing household chores and driving?
20. What expectations do you have for my recovery?
If you have recently had back surgery and would like to discuss any of the above questions, please get in touch with Dr. Sharma today.
Image courtesy of UCONN Health