To have or not have spine surgery? Dr. Jeffrey Carlson aims to help patients decide if surgery is necessary Featured

Written by  Mary Rechtoris | Tuesday, 27 December 2016 17:44
Social sharing

Jeffrey Carlson, MD, a spine surgeon practicing in Newport News, Va., penned an article titled "Do I Really Need to Have Surgery? " in the Daily Press, which addresses the many confusions patients have about pursuing surgery and whether spine surgery is the best course of action.

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.


More articles on spine:
5 things to know about adjacent segment disease after posterior lumbar interbody fusion
Dr. Randall Dryer earns spot in the Expert Network: 5 key points
Dr. Donald Gore highlighted in The Leading Physicians of the World: 5 highlights

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2017. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months