There are times in life where we experience pain and a result of degeneration of injury. Englewood Spine Associates is dedicated to reducing neck pain and low back pain giving you your life back. Englewood Orthopedic Associates excels in treating a variety of conditions involving your cervical spine and lumbar spine. We present here some of the most commonly asked questions.
What is a Spine Surgeon?
A spine surgeon can come from 2 disciplines: Orthopedics and Neurosurgery. An orthopedic spine surgeon is a sub-specialty trained physician which means that the surgeon is fully trained as an orthopedic surgeon and went on to do additional training in spinal surgery in the form of a fellowship. Typically an orthopedic spine surgery spends 5 years in an orthopedic residency and then is accepted to 1-2 year fellowship working along side experts in spinal surgery. A neurosurgeon is a surgeon trained in disorders of the brain and spinal canal and often focus on the spine. A Neurosurgical residency is typically 7 years. Some may also participate in additional training in the form of a fellowship for specific areas of spinal surgery.
When should I see a Spine Surgeon?
All Spine Surgeons perform surgery, but they do so much more. They are also Spine Specialists. The first step in solving your spine issues is a complete assessment of your medical status by acquiring your medical history and performing a physical exam. Radiographic studies may be required in certain situations.
At Englewood Spine Associates, we will give you treatment options starting from the most conservative. Surgery is typically that last step in our treatment pathway. We are confident that most of your problems can be solved without resorting operative means.
When should I consider Surgery?
Most Back pain and/or sciatic pain resolves after 6 weeks of conservative care with out the need for surgery. Typical treatment for your back pain includes anti-inflammatory medication, a trial of physical therapy and on occasion injections. There are just a few situations that require you to seek immediate medical attention. The first is nerve damage. If you experience weakness, atrophy of the muscle, or significant loss of sensation, these are important symptoms that should be addressed fairly quickly. The second situation is the loss of bowel or bladder control. This is one of the few surgical emergencies in spine surgery. Our recommendation would be to go directly to the emergency room. Lastly, there are times when pain is truly incapitating despite the best efforts of conservative care.
What should I bring to my appointment?
When you come to Englewood Spine for your appointment, it is important to have the following items:
- Current insurance information
- Driver’s license or appropriate ID
- Copies of medical records, operation records, X-rays, MRIs, CT scans from prior doctor visits (films preferred)
- Any relevant reports from consultants
- List of medications, including over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies, and supplements
- If you have had surgery elsewhere, please bring a copy of your operative report