DISC Spine Institute and what to expect during an appointment May 9th, 2017 Back Pain, Treatment Amy Crowell Dr. Valente DISC Spine Institute Does making an appointment with a spine doctor seem daunting? Sometimes just knowing what to expect can put your mind at ease. While we hope you consider DISC Spine Institute for your treatment, we believe being informed about what to expect during your appointment can help calm your fears. Dr. Mark Valente discusses Your First Visit: Expectations and What to Bring. What to expect during your appointment at DISC Spine Institute Dealing with back pain can be immensely frustrating. It comes, it goes, and comes again—often with little or no warning. Or, it never goes away at all, nagging at you. Mocking you, even. Or, becoming so acute you have to skip work and plan to stay in bed. When you’re done putting up with the pain and are looking for real relief, it’s time to call a spine specialist. Here’s what to expect once you do. Make an appointment The first step is to schedule a time for a consultation with a Board certified and fellowship trained orthopedic spine surgeon . Choose a location that is most convenient for you since you may be visiting several times, depending on your condition and recommended treatments. You want to make sure you can handle the drive, especially if it hurts your back to be in the car. During your consultation, you will get to see the facilities and meet with the doctor, learn about the state-of-the-art equipment and procedures offered, be evaluated and examined, and have any required tests. Go over treatment options Your back doctor will also go over treatment options for back pain according to your condition. For many ailments, there are several different options, starting with conservative treatments for back pain like the combination of over-the-counter medicine and heat, and epidural steroid injections. Keep in mind that it may turn out the recommended treatment for a herniated disc or spinal stenosis is different than someone else’s. Because everyone’s back pain and symptoms are different, treatment options at spine centers like DISC Spine Institute are individualized to the patient. Minimally invasive discussion Minimally invasive is the trend today, which is why it is important to chose a the doctor that is specially trained and uniquely qualified to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures like kyphoplasty, direct lateral minimally invasive anterior fusions (XLIF), minimally invasive endoscopic lumbar fusions (TLIF), and minimally invasive discectomy. Back doctors with this type of training make up a very small percentage—about 10 percent—of spine surgeons today. When it’s time to consider surgery If your back pain is not subsiding, your doctor may recommend surgery. The good news is that today’s minimally invasive surgery bears little resemblance to traditional “open” surgical procedures. Instead of weeks in the hospital, there may be no hospital stay at all. Some minimally invasive procedures can be done on an outpatient basis, which means you could walk right out when it’s over. Other benefits include a shorter surgery, less trauma to the body, less time under anesthesia, a lower risk of infection, a smaller incision, and faster healing. If you’re tired of suffering and want to explore treatments that could put an end to back pain for good, contact one of the spine centers like DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments to treat and eliminate chronic back pain.