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What questions are important to ask my surgeon when discussing spinal fusion or full disc replacemen

westcydewwestcyde Posts: 11
edited 03/08/2014 - 6:59 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I had a micro discectomy done to repair a herniated L5 S1 disc 2 years ago. I have been in pain ever since and my last MRI done about 2 weeks ago shows degenerative disc disease. The disc is basically gone Im being told. I have had a full disc replacement recommended by two different spine doctors. Im nervous after reading a disc replacement at that level tends to fail.

I have an appointment with one of the best ortho spine surgeons in the country, EDIT to remove doctors name in about 6 weeks. Im not sure what he will recommend but I have been told he has done more full disc replacements than any doctor in the country.

I'm simply looking for people to suggest some important questions to ask during my appointment with him when we are discussing spinal fusion and disc replacement.

. It is a violation of the rules of Spine-Health to name a specific doctor, medical facility or hospital. Please read the forum rules before posting.
Post edited by Sandi- Please see the forum rules at the link below for more information.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    We provide an quick link to the topic you are talking about.

    You should review the FAQ and how this site is configured and how to navigate it. That would have provided you answers to how to search and what are the questions to ask.

    To make it easier 40 Questions to ask your surgeon before surgery
    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
  • Thanks for the link. I'd also like to hear from others that have discussed these surgery options with their doctors.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    edited 03/06/2014 - 6:29 AM
    patients themselves.
    I can give you the type of questions I have asked my surgeons for the 7 Spinal and 4 Total Joint replacement surgeries.

    • - Pro's and Con's of Having or Not Having the surgery
      - Pro's and Con's of postponing the surgery,
      - Detailed description of the surgery (then you can come to our surgery section to compare notes and see a video
      - How long will the surgery be?
      - What are the risks associated with this surgery?
      - What medications can I continue or stop prior to surgery?
      - What medications should I bring to the hospital?
      - What is the medication plan during the hospital stay
      - How long will my hospital stay be?
      - What is the medication plan after leaving the hospital
      - What can I expect for the first week after surgery?
      - Will I have physical therapy? If so, when would that start?
      - What are the limits and restrictions after surgery?
      - Will I need assistance when I am home? Can I be alone?
    These are just some of the questions I have asked my surgeon before having any of my surgeries. For the past 10 years, I have also requested meetings with the

    • Anesthesiologist - to review the type of anesthesia that will be used
      Head Nurse for the floor I will be on - Its always valuable to establish a connection with them prior to being on the floor
      Case Manager. - To help you with any concerns/issues after surgery
    The more questions you ask in advance and understand the answers will help make the overall procedure easier to deal with.
    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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