View Full Version : qustions to ask ortho on first visit

09-23-2009, 05:29 PM
I have my first visit with my ortho tomorrow morning at 10am. I have done multiple test; 3 xrays, MRI, Nerve Test. I saw the report for the MRI and It said that I have 48 degree curve on Lumbar area. Just diagnosed with it. I see the specialist tomorrow. I have so many questions, but I will know that I will forget to ask him. Does anybody have any hints or help on questions. Since I was diagnosed, I really want to do the surgery. The pain is unbearable, so want some relief from the pain. thanks...

09-23-2009, 07:35 PM
Hi Rich
well, just so you know...my surgeons tell me there is "no guarantee" of pain free after surgery...just a probable "less pain" situation than before surgery....i believe all surgeons say that...no one will guarantee any patient to be pain free...it is a guarantee they dont know if they can keep!

i think you might want to ask if anything else is going on in your spine besides the scoli...how are your discs doing...is there any degeneration....also, where the surgery should be, that is where the fusion should be...where the rods & screws will go...how far down, etc...for example, i need L4-S1 & T11-S1...also..will you need just front or just back incisions, or both, or what...where will the incisions need to be....

i expect you would probably want the most conservative approach....

i think others on this forum would suggest the same kinds of questions...they could probably phrase it a little more
technically than i can...

best of luck on your doctor visit...

loves to skate
09-23-2009, 07:46 PM
Hi Rich,
Ask him how many of these scoliosis surgeries he does a week,month or year. What is his success rate and what does he consider a success? What hardware does he like to use and why? What levels would he plan to fuse? Ask him if you can email him questions that you think of later on. These to me are the most important ones to ask, but others might come up with some good ones also. Also, is your Doctor a SRS member? Actually, you can check that out on the SRS website for yourself. Write your questions down and give him a copy so that you won't forget what you want to ask. Jot his answers down on your copy so you can review them later. Do you have someone who can go with you to take notes for you and to help you remember the answers?

I hope this helps a little and please let us know what he says so we can all compare notes.

My thought are with you. Sally

09-23-2009, 10:43 PM
here are some links



This should help. Ask about BMP.(Infuse)



09-24-2009, 02:17 AM

Reading Sally's post reminded me of what I did. I definitely went in with my list of questions, which where nothing special during the first visit with the first doctor. My husband went with me and it's funny how we both heard the same things but remembered them differently. This was definitely a time for information overload. So when I went for my 2nd opinion, we took a small tape recorder with us. Unfortunately, my husband didn't turn it on (he forgot :p) until about 10 minutes into the consultation. The 2nd opinion opened up a whole new set of questions (the two doctors had different approaches).

I went back to the first doctor (who ultimately did my surgery) for another consultation. This time hubby forgot the tape recorder all together. yikes :eek: So I had a brain storm. I turned my cell phone on to the video recorder and recorded the whole meeting. The video was lousy, but I got all the audio that way. I'm pretty sure the doctor didn't mind that I recorded him - when I told him I did it with the 2nd opinion doctor, he said he thought that was a smart thing to do. Then I was able to go home, digest the information that he gave me, and formulate the rest of my questions and get all the clarifications I needed.

So, to make a long story short, take either a tape recorder, or record the consultation using your cell phone. It was a tremendous help for me.

Best wishes to you for your appointment tomorrow and I sincrerely hope you can get some relief.

Please let us know how things turn out!

09-24-2009, 06:30 AM
Hi Rich! It's exciting to have that first appointment... but also a bit overwhelming. You've gotten many good suggestions. Wish I had more time this morning, but depending on if you have the time before you go, you can do a search for "questions" because there have been several other threads that are similar.

One suggestion from David Wolpert's book on scoliosis that I stuck with was to keep a notebook. I used it with most of my pre-op appointments and then still write in it with the post-op ones. I jot down questions I have, whenever I think of them. Then I ask them when I'm there and write quick little notes of what he says. Later I actually write a little summary of the appointment. It's been handy to look back at too.

For today-- you can always explain that you are having a hard time thinking of questions to ask (besides the ones suggested) and would he please help you by discussing the ones that most people ask and that he thinks would help you to understand more about your situation. Some doctors think the patient just doesn't care that much to know any details. Let him know that you want to be informed and educated about your scoliosis and what the prognosis is at this point. Best wishes for a good appointment!