Spinal Surgery – Explaining the Type of Procedure

Workers’ compensation clients will often call and tell me the surgeon wants to do back or neck surgery. Yet, the surgeon often fails to explain to the injured patient exactly what procedure will be performed. The patient suffering from an injury can be left with questions concerning the meaning of terms used by the surgeon. Unexplained terms such as discectomy, fusion,  and laminectomy, really don’t tell you much unless you already have some medical knowledge.

After years of representing clients in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases, I’ve long realized that being skilled in surgery does not necessarily make you skilled in talking with patients. Because of that, I have a huge respect for those surgeons who take a little extra time to answer questions from their patients about the procedures they want to perform.

I recently came across a short article that provides a basic description of the terms used for back and neck surgeries. The article also provides four basic health tips that everyone should consider when facing the need for surgery:

Surgery for a Herniated Disc

Written by Kamiah A. Walker; Reviewed by Jason M. Highsmith, MD

Although most patients with a herniated disc respond well to non-surgical treatments, some patients do need surgery. In general, surgery should be considered only after several months of non-surgical treatment. Many surgical procedures can be performed using minimally invasive techniques (meaning less cutting and entering the body). These techniques result in smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays, less pain after surgery, and a faster recovery.


woman with low back pain


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