Get The Facts About Spinal Surgery
Finding a spine surgeon with whom you're comfortable and talking to other patients about their experiences can help answer any questions you may have about cervical artificial disc replacement surgery.
If you are diagnosed with a spinal condition and your physician recommends surgery, there are several things you should do before scheduling a procedure.
1. Build a Relationship with Your Spine Surgeon
After you have found a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, it is important to develop a strong doctor-patient relationship so you can trust their advice and assessment. Tell your doctor what you think and feel about each of your treatment options. Discuss the risks, benefits and alternative treatments. Ideally, you want to rely on your doctor's judgment. If you don't feel comfortable with your doctor's recommendation, get a second opinion.
2. Connect with Other Patients
Before you decide to have spinal surgery, it may be helpful for you to talk with patients who have had the type of surgery you are considering. Ask your doctor to arrange a conversation between you and another spinal surgery patient. Or, consider interacting with patients and organizations on the Internet. There are many health message boards where patients share information about their spinal surgeries. These work like an electronic bulletin board — you can post messages or questions for other visitors to read, and read other posters' comments, as well. However, always keep in mind that everyone is different and the results of one patient (even with the same surgeon) may not be the same for you.
3. Ask Lots of Questions
In order to learn more about your spinal surgery options, it can be helpful to create a list of questions for your spine surgeon. You could even involve a friend or family member in this process.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- What are all of my options?
- Based on my diagnosis, what procedure is best for me?
- Am I the right type of candidate for the procedure?
- What type of surgical approach is used?
- Where will the scar be and how large will it be?
- What will the type of surgical approach mean for my recovery?
- What has been the outcome for your patients who have had this procedure, and how long have you been performing it?
You can find even more questions in our list of questions to ask your spine surgeon. To find a surgeon in your area, visit our physician locator.
The materials on this Web site are for your general educational information only. Information you read on this Web site cannot replace the relationship that you have with your health care professional. We do not practice medicine or provide medical services or advice as a part of this Web site. You should always talk to your health care professional for diagnosis and treatment.