Surgery for Herniated Disc with Sciatica: Find the Right Surgeon, Ask the Right Questions

Written by Dwight S. Tyndall, MD, FAAOS

Several types of procedures are performed for spinal problems. The type of surgery you need depends on your specific spinal condition and your general physical health.

Assuming that surgery has been recommended for your lumbar herniated disc (LHD) and sciatica, the first step in getting well and pain free is finding a surgeon who is a good fit for you.

How should I choose a spine surgeon?
Choose a doctor with good credentials: a board-certified (or board-eligible) surgeon who has completed a fellowship in spine surgery, who devotes at least 50% of his or her practice to spinal conditions, and who specializes in treating LHD and sciatica. He or she will have special knowledge and expertise.

Moreover, it is important that you feel comfortable and can communicate well with your surgeon. You know you can trust your surgeon when he or she...

You will most likely have several questions for the surgeon. Make sure he or she addresses your concerns.

What should I ask my surgeon?
Patients often feel uncomfortable asking questions of their doctor, but good communication with your surgeon is key. You are a part of the team: it is your body, and it is your right to know the details of your spinal disorder, as well as nonsurgical and surgical approaches to treatment that are available to you.

Most spinal procedures are elective; in other words, you have time to consider your options and make an informed decision about your treatment.

Asking your surgeon the following questions will help you reach your decision wisely and comfortably.

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