Being told that you need spine surgery may be close to the last thing you ever wanted to hear. If you’re like other patients, and we assume you are, you want your procedure and recovery to go smoothly. This can be a challenge merely because there are unknowns related to surgery and they are bound to cause you some degree of stress or anxiety. In addition to utilizing the very best techniques at his disposal, Dr. Albert also talks with previous patients about their experience and what they may have done differently were they do go through the process again. We’ll share some of what patients tend to say here.
A Few Things to Understand Sooner Rather than Later
- Trust is paramount. Studies have shown that patients who trust in their physician tend to respond much better to their treatment. In the area of spinal surgery, trust can be established by asking questions. You may want to consult with a few different spinal specialists to get a feel for how their training, experience, and personality resonate with you. As they say, trust your gut instinct.
- Understand the condition and the procedure. Knowledge is power. In the instance of surgery, the more that you know about your condition and the recommended treatment, the more confident you can feel in the process. Like trust in your surgeon, confidence in your treatment can come from asking many questions and even doing some research on your own. That said, run what you learn by your surgeon if it raises additional questions.
- Have realistic expectations about pain. The purpose of spine surgery is to reduce or eliminate pain and increase range of motion. To get there, though, involves some physical trauma. All surgeries are invasive to some degree, and this causes some discomfort as the body works to heal itself. Talk to your doctor about the ways in which your comfort will be managed after surgery and what you might do to improve it as you recover.
Patients facing spinal surgery inevitably have some reservations. The more you know, the better equipped you are to navigate your journey. As you move toward surgery, remember that your work to recover and rehabilitate is just as important as your procedure and, ultimately, the biggest message from previous patients is that the experience is worth it.
For help with your spinal health, contact our NYC office today.