Doctor Discussion Guide
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When you talk with your spine surgeon, it’s important to describe the pain you’re experiencing as completely and clearly as possible. Using our Doctor Discussion Guide to create a pain map and answer questions about your back pain journey can help.
During your appointment, talk with your doctor about your condition, the treatment options available to you, and the pros and cons of each.
If you have heard of a new technology, it's okay to ask your doctor if you are a candidate. But try not to become immediately fixated on a new treatment option, or you may deny yourself the chance to obtain a complete perspective and possibly the most appropriate treatment for your specific symptoms.
Take some time to learn about different surgical options—even if you don't like the sound of them at first. Ask your surgeon if he or she has some informational brochures on various procedures. And visit websites used by doctors, as they contain professional journal articles and more technical information.
As you start to look for information, remember a few things:
In addition to surgical options, if your doctor is not familiar with the range of treatments for chronic pain, you may want to ask for a referral to a pain management specialist. Or, find a specialist in your area who is familiar with Medtronic Chronic Pain Therapies.
To help you learn more about your spinal surgery options, it can be helpful to create a list of questions for your surgeon. It’s also a good idea to involve a loved one in the process as they may have questions too. Knowing what you want to ask ahead of time will help you get the most out of your visits.
Here are some questions to help get you started:
After you have found a spine surgeon you feel comfortable with, it is important to develop a strong doctor-patient relationship so that you can trust their advice and assessment. Tell your surgeon what you think about each of your treatment options. Discuss the benefits, risks, and alternatives. Ideally, you want to rely on your surgeon’s judgment. If you don’t feel comfortable with your surgeon’s recommendation, get a second opinion.