Tips For Your First Appointment With A Spine Specialist!

Authored by: VSI

Often times our patients are scared to schedule an initial consultation with a spinal specialist because they aren’t exactly sure what the appointment will entail. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to your health, but at Virginia Spine Institute we’re here to remove that fear! Here are some tips we’ve compiled to make your first appointment easy and stress-free.

  • Come with a list of questions and don’t be afraid to ask them.
  • Always bring someone with you, a family member or friend, who can ask questions on your behalf.
  • If you’ve had previous surgery of any kind and especially back or neck surgery, you should get as much information as possible about that procedure.
    • If possible, bring a copy of the operative report with you. In spinal surgery, knowing exactly what previous surgeons have done is extremely helpful!
  • Explain what treatment you’ve had, such as spinal injections, chiropractic, massageacupuncture, and alternative therapies.
  • Bring a detailed list of all the medications you’re taking daily or on an “as needed” basis.
    • Note the name of the medication, not just the category.
    • For example, if you’re taking a blood thinner, make sure you know the name of the one you are taking. Medicines within the same category can have different effects, especially during surgery.
  • Alert the doctor to any chronic medical conditions like diabetes, heart problems, etc.
    • While intake forms ask for this information, it’s good to reiterate the information to your doctor. You’d be surprised how many patients don’t immediately volunteer this critical information.
  • Be honest. Withholding information about medications you’re taking or any medical conditions you have now—or have had in the past—is a bad idea and potentially dangerous.
    • Some chronic conditions, like diabetes or hypertension may affect what medications you can take and what treatments—surgical or nonsurgical are suitable.

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