Are you scheduled for a facet syndrome surgical consultation and are fearful? We completely understand your predicament. Facing a spinal operation is a serious matter and should never be taken lightly or entered into without adequate research.
Will the procedure go well and cure my pain? What are the risks of facet joint surgery? What complications may occur? Will my pain come back postoperatively? These are just some of the common questions that we receive on the sites of The Cure Back Pain Network and these will be addressed during the course of this focused discussion.
This patient guide provides crucial information that every surgical candidate needs to know. We provide a primer that will help you to talk to your doctor during your consultation and also some questions that should be asked before agreeing to undergo surgery.
Facet Syndrome Surgical Consultation Research
Before even thinking about seeing a surgeon to correct some manner of facet joint defect, degeneration, injury or other condition, be absolutely sure that the diagnosis is sound and accurate. It may sound crazy, but a large percentage of patients are misdiagnosed with facet joint syndrome and therefore will suffer poor surgical results since the actual origin of their pain is not being targeted by the procedure chosen. We suggest reading up on the diagnostic process and the common reasons why misdiagnosis is such an epidemic problem in the back and neck pain treatment sector of healthcare.
If you are 100% sure of the accuracy of your diagnosis, then you should research your nonsurgical treatment options first. It is certainly possible to minimize facet joint pain using purely noninvasive methods of constructive care. It is also possible to cure facet joint pain using nonsurgical spinal decompression. Since these therapeutic paths entail much lower risks than surgery, they should definitely be considered carefully before consulting with a surgeon.
Facet Joint Pain Surgical Consult Questions
If you have decided that surgical care is best for you, then it is safe to move forward and have your facet syndrome surgical consultation with a quality doctor. Make sure to thoroughly research any surgeon you are considering. Check their license status, history of litigation and disciplinary actions and ask to speak to patients with similar diagnosed pain problems to your own who were successfully treated. Once on the operating table, your life will be in this surgeon’s hands, so make your decision very, very carefully.
If you find a suitable surgeon, be certain to talk with them openly and in detail about which procedure they recommend and why. Be absolutely sure to ask them to perform the most minimally invasive type of procedure possible that will accomplish the surgical objective in order to minimize pain and speed up recuperation time. Also, ask them if there is any chance that they will choose to perform a spinal fusion. If so, carefully consider finding a different surgeon. Some doctors commonly add fusion into the mix for minor surgical procedures to boost financial value and make the process much easier for them. While this is less common during facet joint surgery, it can happen, so be sure to discuss it before acquiescing to surgical care.
Ask the doctor every question you can think of and have these questions prepared and written down at the time of your consultation for ease of communication. If they will not take the time to talk with you, then you do not need them operating on you either. Be certain to discuss risks and possible complications, as well as have them commit to a postoperative prognosis for making a complete recovery without continuing pain.
Facet Syndrome Surgical Consultation Guidance
We tend to advise against spinal surgery for most diagnoses. In general, when it comes to back and neck pain, surgery is rarely necessary and is also seldom very effective. However, facet joint syndrome is one of the exceptions to this rule.
Some patients will fare best having surgical care. The procedures utilized are usually very minimally invasive and relatively low risk. They are also usually effective when the diagnosed source of pain is indeed correct. If you can have a minor procedure performed and be pain-free afterwards, then it is worth finding out more from a skillful surgeon. Therefore, we do recommend seeing a surgeon for a consultation if you have put in the due diligence to research all the topics suggested in this essay above.
Be wary that spinal abnormalities are basically normal, with degenerative disc disease and herniated discs being literally universally found in adults, while spinal and foraminal stenosis are extremely common. Other spinal atypicalities are not as common as these, but still affect many people… The point is that many surgeons will automatically try to convince patients that all abnormalities are pathological, when this is a complete lie. Most diagnosed spinal conditions are not symptomatic and never will become so. Therefore, we very careful when a surgeon suggests changing your very minor facet joint procedure to a major spinal operation that may tackle multiple structural issues unnecessarily. In rare cases, this type of surgical synergy is beneficial and needed, but in most cases, it simply results in a protracted recovery time, poor results and a highly increased chance for chronic pain aka failed spinal surgery syndrome. Be careful!