Considering Back Surgery, Things to Ask When Selecting a Spinal Surgeon

Considering Back Surgery, Things to Ask When Selecting a Spinal Surgeon

Do you have a history of chronic back pain? Are you considering back surgery? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that each year approximately 600,000 people in the United States will have back surgery.

Surgery of any type is a major consideration, and selecting the right physician to perform your spine surgery is critical to a successful outcome. General questions you should ask when seeking the right spinal surgeon include:

  1. What treatment options were suggested?
    Back surgery is not the only treatment option available. Were you given a comprehensive evaluation to identify the best plan of action that’s customized for your needs? Were other, noninvasive methods tried before surgery was suggested?
  2. Do you feel informed?
    Your spine surgeon is there to not only perform the surgery but also to explain the process, the risks and potential complications as well as the post-op care and recovery. Were you able to ask questions, and do you feel comfortable with the decision to have surgery?
  3. What type of surgeon should perform your back surgery?
    Neurosurgeons have extensive additional fellowship training in spine surgery beyond that of a general surgeon and perform surgeries that non-neurosurgical spine surgeons can’t perform. Also, spine cases make up 70% of the cases neurosurgeons see in training and practice, a far greater percentage than other types of surgical specialties.
  4. What is the main focus of the surgeon’s medical practice?
    A surgeon whose practice is focused on comprehensive spinal care and spine surgery will be more up-to-date with treatment options and surgical techniques than a physician who performs occasional spinal surgery. Ask how often the surgeon has performed the procedure and his or her success rate.
  5. What can you expect in terms of the healing process and clinical outcomes?
    While every patient is different, an experienced surgeon who performs a procedure on a regular basis can provide general guidelines as to the expected postoperative healing and progress at different milestones.

Dr. Marano has been providing comprehensive spinal care to the people of Eastern Idaho for more than 30 years. He brings a high level of expertise and experience to the care of each and every patient seen at Spine Surgery of Idaho. If you’ve been experiencing back pain and are considering surgery or would like a second opinion, we encourage you to make an appointment today… and to bring this list in along with your own questions. You can call 208-522-6930, or go online to schedule an appointment.

A Correct Diagnosis is the Start to Managing Your Back Pain

A Correct Diagnosis is the Start to Managing Your Back Pain

Back pain is the most common health problem in the United States, with 8 out of 10 people experiencing it at some point in their life. Living with back pain can be frustrating, exhausting and stressful. Making a few simple changes in your daily routine can help prevent and limit back pain.

The expert team at Spine Surgery of Idaho suggests:

Stay Active

Daily physical activity and exercise can help ease muscle tension, build strength and prevent back pain. Staying active works to limit joint stiffness and helps maintain good range of motion. Work on strengthening your core muscles to add stability and help protect the muscles in your lower back.

Watch Your Posture

When sitting and standing, good posture and spinal alignment are a must. Watch that you aren’t bent over, leaning or slouching. Be sure to use a proper desk chair, one that helps maintain the correct spinal alignment while supporting your lower back. When standing, keep your core engaged and shoulders back.

Use Your Legs When Lifting

Lifting should be an exercise of the legs, not a lower back activity. When lifting heavy items, don’t bend from the waist. Squat down, engage your abdominal muscles and keep the item close to your body. This allows you to use your thigh muscles and your abdominal muscles to do the main lifting, not the smaller muscles of your back.

Lighten Your Wallet and Purse

The big fat wallet that you have in your back pocket and your trendy handbag could be the cause of your back pain.

Sitting on a thick wallet throws off the alignment of your spinal column and can be the cause of back pain. If you’re going to be sitting for long periods of time, lighten the load and remove items you don’t really need. Better yet, move the wallet to a jacket pocket.

Yes, those large handbags are all the rage. You see pictures of celebrities carrying them all over the place. What you don’t see is the shoulder and back strain caused by carrying a bag that’s big and too heavy. The bigger the bag the more tempting it is to bring along things you don’t really need. Before you know it, your handbag weighs more than a small child. You can keep the trendy bag just lighten the load. Bring along only what you need, and frequently switch sides to prevent overstraining one shoulder.

Manage Your Desk Time

Many people spend a good part of their day sitting at a desk, and this is often the source of their back pain. Poor body ergonomics can lead to repetitive motion strain, injuries and chronic back pain. The lack of movement when sitting for long periods of time decreases circulation, limiting nutrients to the discs in the spinal column. Sitting causes more pressure to your spine than standing or lying flat. If you have a desk job, it’s important to get up, move and stretch every 20 minutes.

You’ve incorporated these back-saving measures into your daily routine, but you’re still experiencing pain. It’s time to see a specialist and get an accurate diagnosis, the first step in treating and managing your spine-related issues. Patients in Eastern Idaho experiencing back pain are encouraged to make an appointment with Dr. Marano. He and his team offer a complete range of spinal care treatments. Call 208-522-6930 to schedule your appointment or use our convenient online request form.