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Spine Surgery—What To Know And Where To Go

Spine surgery-What to know and where to go photo by Rachel Haller / cc 2.0

If you’ve been suffering with back pain and think surgery may be in your future, you might be overwhelmed by the idea of how to find the right back doctor. And while we hope you consider DISC Spine Institute for your procedure we always recommend doing your homework before choosing a spine specialist. Figuring out which doctor to see, what kind of facility you should be looking for, and what type of treatment is right for you can be overwhelming. We at the DISC Spine want you to get the safe and appropriate treatment you deserve for your neck and back pain. Here’s what you need to know about spine surgeons so you can make the best decision about where to go.

The kind of procedures they do

When looking for the best place to get treatment for back pain, look carefully at the types of procedures the doctors perform. If the doctors only (or mostly) do traditional surgeries, you might want to move on. For many people, the idea of a long operation followed by a prolonged recovery period, not to mention the risks involved in a traditional operation, is enough to turn them off of the idea of surgery altogether.

Minimally invasive back surgery has changed the game for so many back pain sufferers because:

  • The surgery is shorter—It can be over in a matter of moments, which means less time under anesthesia, less chance of complications, and a lower risk of infection.
  • There may be no hospital stay at all—Many minimally invasive spine procedures are done on an outpatient basis, so you can walk right out after it’s over. Many others require only a short time in the hospital as opposed to the long stay required by “open” surgeries.
  • The incision is smaller—Forget the big scar. Incisions from a minimally invasive Texas spine surgery can be as small as three millimeters.
  • Recoveries are faster—Traditional surgeries often require the surgeon to cut back muscles and tendons/ligaments. In addition, there can be 10 times more blood loss and the possibility of transfusions with an open surgery. With less stress on the body, minimally invasive surgeries allow the body to heal more quickly.

If you’re considering the minimally invasive route, you’ll want to:

  • Make sure your doctor is qualified to perform the procedure you want

While minimally invasive procedures are the hottest trend in back pain management, there is still only a small percentage—about 10 percent—of today’s spine surgeons who have the specialized training to do perform procedures like minimally invasive endoscopic lumbar fusions (TLIF), kyphoplasty, direct lateral minimally invasive anterior fusions (XLIF), micro endoscopic discectomy.

  • Do they have a conservative approach?

Not surprisingly, many surgeons love to “cut.” But many of today’s top surgeons concentrate on more conservative treatments first to make sure you don’t endure surgery unnecessarily. If you have yet to have treatment for your back pain or if you’re switching doctors and considering Texas spine surgery, you might be surprised by the recommended techniques that can work to alleviate your pain.

  • Look for board certification

Even if everything else seems great, you want to make sure the doctor you’re considering is certified through the American Board of Medical Specialties, which means they have earned a medical degree from a qualified medical school, completed the necessary residency training, are “licensed by a state medical board, and have passed one or more exams administered by a member of the ABMS,” said Consumer Reports.

  • What is the facility like?

Do they have state-of-the-art equipment? Is everyone friendly and knowledgeable? Is the facility conveniently located so you can ensure you’ll be able to make your appointments? These will probably be among a number of factors that weigh into your choice when considering Texas spine surgery. If you have other questions or concerns, be sure to write them down so you remember to address them during your consultation. Additional things you may want to ask include:

  • How is their track record? The success rate is obviously important.
  • What do their customers say? If you don’t see testimonials on their website, be sure to ask for some.

If you’re tired of suffering and want to explore treatments that could put an end to your back pain for good, contact DISC Spine Institute, experts in minimally invasive treatments, the most effective medical procedures to treat and eliminate chronic back pain. Texas spine surgery is easier than ever, with minimally invasive treatments that mean short hospital stays, and shorter recoveries.

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