Having a consultation with a spine surgeon can be overwhelming. You probably have a lot of questions and want to make sure you leave with a clear understanding of your diagnosis, treatment options, and next steps. Here is a list of the five things we recommend taking to your spine surgeon consultation:

  1. List of questions for your surgeon. Prepare a list of questions to ask during your consultation. We have a list of 10 questions to ask your surgeon before back surgery that can be a great starting point.
  2. List of alternative/conservative treatments. Like most chronic back and leg pain sufferers, you’ve probably tried a number of alternative or conservative treatments before consulting a surgeon. Take a list of all the treatments you’ve tried, how they helped (or didn’t), and how long you tried them. This gives your surgeon a baseline for understanding the best next steps in your treatment.
  3. Medical history. Similar to the list of alternative/conservative treatments, your medical history will be valuable for a surgeon to understand your overall health and other issues that could be contributing to your chronic back or leg pain.
  4. Medical images. Chances are, by the time you consult a specialist about back surgery, you’ve already had imaging of your spine completed. Bring copies of images from x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs that other healthcare providers have ordered. This will help your surgeon determine what additional imaging may be needed.
  5. Support person. Making the decision to talk to a spine surgeon to treat your chronic back or leg pain is a significant step in your journey. Your mind could be preoccupied on your drive home. A support person can help you process your conversation with your surgeon and get you home safely.

We hope this list will help you go into your consultation focused and prepared to get the most out your time with the surgeon.

As with any medical condition, individual experiences will vary from patient to patient. Since this information is intended for informational purposes only, it is important that it doesn’t replace the relationship you have with your healthcare provider. Be sure to consult your healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.