FAQ: Spine Services

Questions to Ask Your Spine Surgeon

Q: Did you complete fellowship training in Spine Surgery?

A: Many surgeons who perform spine procedures did not complete dedicated intense training focused solely on spine surgery known as a fellowship. Both Drs. Shridharani and Hood completed fellowships in Spine Surgery at a top Spine Surgery training program.

Q: Have you ever been sued for medical malpractice?

A: Spine Surgery is a high-risk field. Do your homework before you choose your surgeon. Neither Dr. Shridharani nor Dr. Hood have been sued for medical malpractice.

Q: Outside of the usual surgeon’s fees for the surgical procedure, do you receive any additional compensation for performing my surgery?

A: Some spine surgeons receive additional compensation every time they put in a screw or implant in the spine. This could be a conflict-of-interest. Neither Dr. Shridharani nor Dr. Hood receive compensation outside of the usual surgeon’s fees when performing a patient’s operation.

Q: How many of these surgical procedures have you performed?

A: Don’t be a guinea pig. You want a surgeon who performs the type of surgery you need on a routine basis. Dr. Shridharani and Dr. Hood have performed thousands of spinal operations.

Q: What is the goal of surgery?

A: Make sure that you and your surgeon are in agreement on purpose of the operation. For example, do you want the surgery to improve your sciatica or back pain?

Q: What are the risks or potential complications of surgery?

A: Spine Surgery is high risk. Make sure your surgeon discusses the potential complications with you in detail and their specific rates of complications.

Q: What are the alternatives to surgery?

A: Before you proceed with surgery, make sure you’ve tried all reasonable non-surgical options. Examples of non-surgical options include physical therapy, spinal injections, and weight loss.

Q: Is fusion surgery mandatory?

A: Some spinal disorders require spinal fusion surgery. However, not all patients need to undergo fusion surgery, and sometimes a less-invasive approach is preferred.

Q: What other providers will be involved in my care?

A: We use a team approach to help take care of you before, during, and after surgery. An integrated team of Spine surgeons, anesthesiologists, internal medicine physicians, intensive care specialists, nurse practioners, physician assistants, and nurses work together closely to ensure that you receive the best care.