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Questions to ask your surgeon about spinal surgery

What to ask your surgeon about spinal surgery - before; Before spinal surgery - surgeon questions; Before spinal surgery - what to ask your surgeon; Questions to ask your surgeon about back surgery

You are going to have surgery on your spine. The main types of spinal surgery include diskectomy, laminectomy, foraminotomy, and spinal fusion.

Below are questions you may want to ask your surgeon to help you prepare for spinal surgery.


Herniated nucleus pulposus
Spinal stenosis


Lumbar spinal surgery - Series
Spinal surgery - cervical - series
Microdiskectomy - series
Spinal fusion - series - Normal anatomy


How do I know if spine surgery will help me?

How much will spine surgery cost?

Is there anything that I can do before the surgery so it will be more successful for me?

How can I get my home ready before I go to the hospital?

What are the risks or complications of the spine surgery?

What should I do the night before my surgery?

What will the surgery be like?

What will my stay in the hospital be like?

How long will it take to recover from spine surgery?

How will I gain my strength back after the spine surgery?


Li Y, Ling MZ, Wang MY. Perioperative management protocols: Enhanced recovery after surgery. In: Steinmetz MP, Berven SH, Benzel EC, eds. Benzel's Spine Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 79.

Stefanelli AJ, Sabourin V, Hines K, Singh H, Harrop JS. Fundamentals of spine surgery. In: Steinmetz MP, Berven SH, Benzel EC, eds. Benzel's Spine Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 78.


Review Date: 10/15/2023  

Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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