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CRASH21CCRASH21 Posts: 139
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:18 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Will be seeing NS next week for 2nd opinion. First NS says definite surgery on neck. After I leave, I always think of things I should have asked. Any advice on what to ask 2nd opinion dr.? I have already done traction and PT with no results. First NS doesn't think injections will help.


  • I agree with Paul. I write things down all the time, as a matter of fact I have a "health notebook" that I keep with questions, answers, meds etc., at all times (I've been doing this awhile lol. I've found that it also helps to bring someone along who spends time with you- I never realized that my gait had changed until my husband told the surgeon that I "stomped" alot.

    I would also ask him to look over the films with you and point out the problems that he sees. If he's not on the same page with the first surgeon, ask him why he thinks differently.

    Write it all down or ask the person you bring to! You won't remember half of it! We pay for their time and they can take a minute to let us jot a point down.

    Good luck to you,

  • I agree with the others as to write things down. Here is a link to some questions that may help you out and get you going. http://www.spine-health.com/blog/sleep-and-insomnia/38-questions-ask-your-surgeon-having-back-surgery Hope that helps. Keep us posted on what happens and your decision.
  • Welcome to Spine Health!!

    I too have a neck injury and have already had one surgery. A Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy at C 3- and C 4-5. I had a discogram in May and that showed there was tearing in 3 of the bulging discs and 1 level had some fissuring. Very painful test but full of good information. I have tried many other methods of treatment but without any releif.

    My Neurologist is the best one in the area and he is now sending me for a second with the top Ortho surgeon around this area. I have seen this ortho once beofre for a second so I know it is all in my best interest.

    How did you hurt your neck! Mine was a car accident or Crash if you will.

    What levels of your neck did the surgeon want to work on? Do you know what type of surgery he/she was suggesting?

    I am now awaiting to see the Ortho and then hopefully will have the ACDF either 2 levels or 3 levels.

    I am not sure what questions you would ask without knowing a bit more about your injury, but here are some of the questions I plan to ask my surgeon when we are ready to do the ACDF.

    What type of hardware is he going to use?
    Will he perform the surgery or will someone else? Because I would like he himself to do it.
    What type of neck collar after surgery and how long in the collar?
    Questions about length of recovery? When I can Drive? Physical Therapy if? and When?
    What about going up and down stairs post-op?
    (if this pertains to your living situation)

    These are just a few of the questions I have listed. I think all total I have about 10-12 typed out.

    If you would like the total list, please feel free to PM me and I will be happy to share them.

    Hang in there.
  • Thanks all for your advise. Saw the 2nd NS and he also want to do surgery. Fusion on C5-6, 6-7 and L5-S-1. I am really scared! I have a lot of research to do. I did not ask a ton of questions, but I am planning on sitting down to write down all I can come up with prior to my next visit. I will also be bringing someone along with me to help listen as you all have suggested. In the meantime, I am going to take some time to let all of this sink in. Lots and lots of questions!
  • Crash, it sounds like you are headed to surgery. The others have given you great advice, and it sounds like you know what to do with your next appointment. Will they be fusing the neck and the lumbar spine at the same time? Or will you do one, heal from it, and then do the other?

    Another suggestion would be to ask for an email address so that you can email any additional questions you have after the next consultation. Some physicians provide one to their patients, and then they can review the questions when they have time and send a quick reply with the answer. don't be afraid to call the nurse with questions that can be relayed to the surgeon. Most surgeons understand how scared the patients are, and they don't mind the questions. It is their job to reassure you before taking you to the OR. An educated and optimistic patient has a much better outcome post op than someone who doesn't know what to expect.

    Good luck to you. Cindy
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I agree, the nurse at the surgeon's office is an invaluable tool in the stages of surgery. She/he often has more insightful and realstic answers to your everyday questions than the doctor does! They are the ones that deal with it and have helpful tips tp make life easier and more comfortable for you. Don't hesitate to call with any questions.

    Good luck to you. Surgery is scary but necessary for many of us. Make sure that you have 100% trust in your surgeon and that all your questions are answered. There are no stupid questions! Make sure that you ask about pain relief after surgery; some surgeons will only deal with it for the first prescriptions so make sure you ask and have an alternative if you should need further pain management. It's better to know in advance! I'm sure we'll all think of more things for you as we go along LOL.

  • HI Crash, welcome to SH and just to let you know that i agree with the comments here, first you must trust and feel secure with your NS and pump his nurse with extra questions regards the post-op stuff too. good luck y'hear
  • NS has a great resume. Friend has recommended him. Seems like a nice guy. I don't know any other way to know if he is the right one. I have been to two NS and they say the same thing - surgery. I think they have been saying that all along but it is just now sinking in. I am still in shock. Not expecting lumbar surgery too. NS says they prefer to start with the cervical. Not on the same day but within a few weeks of each other. Makes sence, might as well do all my recovery at the same time.
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