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Questions for my surgeon ?????

jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I am hoping that you experts can help me.
I am seeing my surgeon next week and would value some help in writing my list of questions.

What questions did you ask that were helpful?
And what were the things that you wished you had asked?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. :-



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,839
    Scroll down a bit under the Medical Information and you will find a link to 38 questions to ask your surgeon
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • The list Ron is speaking of I used last time and put it in my own form. I wrote the questions in two manners pending the results of the testing he had completed. I wrote one set of questions based on using conservative treatments and the second set based on a actual surgery. I used the questions as a guideline to write my own list and based on what I know about my condition. I also used the link preparing to meet with a surgeon. Even though I have had plenty of surgery before this and even by this surgeon I went in with the idea of being a new patient. It was probably the most productive meeting I have ever had with a surgeon. Good luck and keep us posted on how it all goes.

  • Great advice both of you.
    The FAQ section is great Ron. I have found all sorts of interesting articles there.

    Anyone who hasn't already taken a look, I suggesst you visit the FAQs.
  • Know clinical and radiological signs and symptoms for this course.
    If you hear of something that you can’t find anywhere, use PUBMED search engine.

    SEARCH NETSCAPE RSNA www.rsna.org/REG/launchpad/casestudies.html
    Select CHORUS: Collaborative Hypertext of Radiology.
    Acute spinal cord compression (myelopathy).
    Chronic compression of the cord by 18% could be asymptomatic.
    Arnold-Chiari malformation. Type II associates with syrinx (a cavity within the spinal cord).
    Syringomyelia/hydromyelia – cape or shawl distribution of paresthesia.

    Article, Radiology 1999: Central nervous pathway for acupuncture stimulation in the human brain by using function MRI. Stimulation resulted in significantly higher scores for Qi and in substantial bradycardia. MR demonstrates the CNS pathway for acupuncture stimulation. Note activation of structures of descending antinociceptive pathway and deactivation of multiple limbic areas associating with pain.

    CERVICAL SERIES: standard 3, 5, or 7 view.
    (Routine minimum) Medicare series: AP, LAT, APOM.
    For 5 view add right and left obliques.
    For 7 view (Davis series - don’t use this term) add flexion + extension views, to determine stability, not stress.
    Neutral lateral cervical:
    8x10, 70kVp, non bucky
    Fault rules for judging a film (fail any one and you have a fault):
    1. Anatomy should be enclosed: occiput to inferior endplate of C7 (hospital T1 superior endplate).
    2. Contrast sufficient to permit visualization of cortical and medullary bone.
    3. Contrast sufficient to permit soft tissue visualization with hot light. Ideal is visualization with viewbox.
    Interpretation - after clearing film through above criteria (note: if jewelry is visible on two films, credit is pulled; so process first film before taking second film) observe:
    Soft tissues (know mensuration; 7/9mm C1-C5, 20mm C5 down)
    Bones (periosteal, cortical, and medullary components)
    Joints (thickness of surface, joint space thickness {critical stabilizer and alignment}. Three joints in C/S – Z-joint, uncovertebral, and IVD (ancillary peg joint of dens – associated bursa undergo destruction in RA).

    Indication for X-ray is to exclude contraindications to CMT.
    Number one affliction to human articular pathology and ambulatory care of pain is DJD.
    Discogenic spondylosis – IVD arthrosis

    Reduction of C5 IVD leads to reduction of cervical curve. After noting loss of IVD space, note for loss of alignment. This applies to AP and axial (Z-axis) – axial more common than AP. Retro- and antero-listhesis are common pathologies arising from loss of hyaline cartilage on the articular process facets. Rotational listhesis also reported in patients with neurogenic arthropathy. These are an every day encounter. The less common etiology for antero and retro is trauma destabilizing the ligamentous structures. Flattening of the C/S often associate with flattening of the lumbopelvic region.
    Traditional cervical lordosis is a misnomer because it automatically implies pathology. Note the appropriate use of George’s line is an interrupted line at the body-pedicle locations. The C1 arch commonly breaks the spino-laminar line most commonly a result of a short posterior arch. Dens fracture/os odontoidium, break in transverse ligament, and short neural arch are most common reasons for C1 instability.
    Pay attention to transitional zones because of the alteration in transmission of forces, especially in cervico-thoracic region (highly mobile C/S and immobile T/S. Disc spaces dictate stability and consist of cartilage. Note that the disc space thins because of fractures in the endplates, but the disc itself does not really thin. The most prevalent site for DDD is C4-C6 because of movement/transition. Thinning (degenerative changes of the disc) affects the y-axis in disc space and facet sliding of the superior behind (down and back) on the inferior – rostrocaudal movement. IVF volume then vertically reduces because superior pedicle is coming down. This does not translate to nerve compression. SSEP (somato-sensory evoked potential) measures conduction velocity – the

    Post edited to remove URL. Solicitation is not permitted on Spine-Health
    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health Administrator 01/28/10

    Do NOT copy word for word information from other web sites. There are copy right issues that need to be verified before anyone copies articles from another site

    We are NOT removing all the text at this point, but will do so in the future, if this practice continues
  • I'm glad you are going to see your surgeon!

    I forgot to ask: where is the material coming from for the fusion?
    I have since found out he is going in from the back and they will probably move part of the bone to make way for the nerves and will use that bone possibly mixed with something else.
    I was just glad to hear it wasn't coming from the hip.
    Also I forgot to ask, but will tomorrow at my pre admit testing, what are the pain meds going to be after the surgery when I wake up and what will I be going home with. Norm aka factoryrat, suggested asking about the drug specifically and that sounds like a great idea to me!
    Take care and let us know what happens!

  • The surgeon's assistant doctor (?) who has made the appointment with the surgeon for me, said that he would probably use the bone that he removed to make room for the nerve roots and cord, ground up and mixed with something else (don't know what - must ask that question). I was also glad that he doesn't use a graft from the hip.

    I don't know what the various pain meds are but, take a look at the FAQ section. There is a great article there explaining various drugs and what they are used for.

    Hope you are getting prepared for your surgery on 9th Feb. Do let us know how you get on and if you think of any helpful hints for us pre-surgery spineys.

    I'll let you know what the surgeon says.

    Take care.
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