Here are five highlights:
1. Upon entering Dr. Carlson's office, most patients are apprehensive about undergoing surgery. Dr. Carlson notes spine surgery is often not necessary and a patient’s treatment plan usually includes medication, physical therapy and modifications to their daily activities.
2. Websites that allow patients to look up their symptoms often feed into fears about surgery. In comment boxes, some people describe their negative experiences which causes anxiety for readers, who may need to undergo spine surgery to amend a condition. Dr. Carlson cautions patients the information they obtain from non-medical professionals may not relate to their specific condition.
3. Dr. Carlson said patients who exhibit symptoms such as back pain, neck pain and arthritis do not absolutely need surgery. However, patients suffering from nerve compression or spinal instability are more likely to require surgery.
4. Dr. Carlson said if physicians perform surgery when it is appropriate, surgery "is the most rewarding for both the doctor and patient; based on the correct diagnosis."
5. Patients should be 100 percent honest with their provider about their symptoms, or they could receive the wrong treatment. Dr. Carlson says patients commit a major mistake when they Google symptoms rather than simply saying the symptoms they experience, which leads their provider with an inconclusive treatment option.
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