In preparation for your “first” visit, please print and complete the Patient Registration Form and Screening Questionnaire prior to your arrival:
If you have imaging studies, i.e., MRI films or X-rays (not older than 6 months) plus medical written reports please bring them with you.
WHAT TO BRING
Please make sure to bring your photo ID, insurance card(s) on your first visit and when you are seen for a new problem if you are an existing patient. All new patients should download and complete the Patient Registration Form (above) prior to your appointment.
Also bring any previous diagnostic testing if applicable such as MRI’s, X-Rays films, CT Scans or EMG’s that will aid the physician during the evaluation process.
On the day of your appointment, once you are in our parking garage you can call the center at (310) 746-5918 and let them know you are in the parking garage and need assistance. We are eager to help you.
Why is neck surgery through the front?
A) Neck surgery is often done through the front, or anteriorly, as this gives access to the disc which is usually the cause of symptoms in the cervical spine. Accessing the spine from the front is often muscle sparing as the approach takes advantages of natural tissue planes so no muscle has to be cut
How long does it take to recover?
A) Recovery time after surgery depends on the procedure. Typically there will be a period of time where we restrict bending, lifting, and twisting (BLT) of the neck or back for at least 6 weeks. Return to pre-injury activity levels takes about 3-6 months. Of course this varies with the type of procedure, activity level prior to surgery, and the individual.
Why should I quit smoking before surgery?
A) Smoking negatively affects patient outcomes after spinal surgery. Smoking decreases bone mineral density and the formation of bone. It also restricts blood flow which impairs healing. This can increase the risk of infection and decrease the ability of the spine to fuse. We recommend quitting at least one month prior to surgery and for six months post-operatively to improve outcomes.
How long before I can shower after surgery?
A) Showering depends on the dressing that is applied after surgery. Waterproof dressings can be used which allow showering as soon as one is up for it, even the first day home. Before leaving the hospital, a waterproof dressing is often applied.
When can I start Physical therapy?
A) Physical therapy is usually prescribed when restrictions are lifted which is usually at 6 weeks after surgery or 3 months. However, this does not mean we do not want you to be active. Walking and gentle exercises are introduced early in the post-operative course and encouraged through the early recovery.
What medications should be stopped before surgery?
A) Anti-inflammatories should be stopped prior to surgery due to bleeding risk. Blood thinners should be stopped also if possible. However, this should be discussed with the prescriber and surgeon as some patients are not able to discontinue due to the risk of blood clots.
Procedures Herniated disc?
A) Microdiscectomy is the most common procedure performed in spine surgery. This is done when one has a herniated disc that is compressing the nerve and causing pain. A small incision is made in the back or neck and with the use of a microscope, the portion of the disc compressing the nerve is removed.
Will epidural injections help herniated disc?
A) Patients have pain from a herniated disc due to compression of the nerves associated and the resultant inflammation. Epidural injections address the inflammation but not the compression. Sometimes a decrease in inflammation is all that is needed to help relieve symptoms which is why this is a treatment option.