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Getting a second opinion, what should I ask?

I am not veteran to having back surgery. I have had 5. I have had two open discectomies, 2 PLIFs, and a staph infection washout. However, I am not good at asking questions. I get in the office and forget everything I want to ask. My current NS is very friendly, I get lost in our good relationship, he reminds me of my dad. I am the type who trusts doctors immediately. Therefore, I really don't ask any questions. I am very fortunate that I did find a real good NS right out of the box.

I have a bulged disc L5-S1, at my last appointment my NS told me that he wanted me to blow out my disc before he would do anything. That was back in early January. About mid February I began experiencing sciatica in my right leg with some pain my left leg as well. So, I did what any normal spiney would do. I called my NS and told them about the pain and his nurse proceeded to inform me that there was nothing they could do for me. I think I may blown the disc. I have been diagnosed with adjacent disc disease. They offered me an injection and I refused because they don't seem to work for me. I have had several tries at injections. My husband talk me into getting a second opinion. I called my PCP and he hooked me up.

So here I am today, getting ready to see my new NS next week. I want to be an informed patient. I want to be able to ask the right questions. Can anyone give some advice on what kind of questions I should ask? I am very nervous about this appointment. I am afraid that he won't believe that I am suffering. Thanks

Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.


  • There is a list of like 38 questions to ask your surgeon on this site somewhere... maybe someone can find it and post the link. I don't exactly suggest running through all 38, but you could print them off and highlight the ones you are most concerned with. Also you might want to take another person with you to the appointment and let them know about your list of questions. I also want to suggest that you get an opinion of an ortho surgeon as well. That will just give you a more "rounded" look at everything. Good luck!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    You can find it by looking at our FAQ
    For a shortcut
    38 Questions
    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
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