Any time a doctor recommends surgery, your natural reaction is probably to worry. After all, even the most minor surgical procedure carries some risks, and spinal surgery is unlikely to be described as “minor.”
The highly qualified experts at Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates understand the level of trust patients must have for their spinal surgeon. We know that having surgery on your spine comes with a complex and difficult-to-navigate intermingling of hope and fear. To help you decide if your doctor is the right person to perform your spinal surgery, consider these three questions.
1. Excellent qualifications
You wouldn’t hire someone to represent you in court who wasn’t a licensed attorney. You probably wouldn’t even let someone without a license cut your hair, and your spinal surgeon should absolutely be qualified to perform surgery on one of the most complex and important structures in your body.
Your spine houses the nerves that carry signals to and from your brain to all the rest of your body. It’s made up of 33 separate bones, with cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and muscles supporting each one. Your spine allows you to bend, twist, and move in all sorts of useful ways.
When you have an issue that requires surgery, you want someone who knows what they’re doing and has years of experience performing your procedure. Dr. Louis Keppler is an orthopedic specialist with specific training in performing spinal reconstructive surgery and scoliosis surgery, among other spinal procedures.
Dr. Keppler completed medical school and a fellowship in spinal surgery, and he’s certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and his clinical practice board, as well as being a member of multiple professional organizations.
In fact, all of the experts at Dr. Louis Keppler & Associates are qualified in their areas of expertise. You shouldn’t hesitate to ask about specific qualifications and training when you’re trying to decide if your surgeon is right for you.
2. Clear communication
You should not only feel comfortable asking about your surgeon’s qualifications, but also asking any other questions you may have. Since communication is a two-way street, you should also consider how well you understand your surgeon’s answers to your questions.
If your doctor uses technical terms to describe your condition and doesn’t make information understandable to you, or if they seem impatient with your questions, you may not have the right surgeon for you.
When it comes to spinal surgery, you should have as much information as you need to agree -- or not -- to the procedure. You need to understand why the procedure will help you and what you should expect afterward.
Sometimes patients think that spinal surgery will restore their full function and completely eradicate their pain. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Your surgeon should prepare you for what you should reasonably expect.
3. A solid reputation
Choosing a spinal surgeon is not like choosing a vacation destination, and we don’t expect you to read reviews to find the right surgeon. However, word of mouth, testimonials, or conversations with patients who have had similar procedures to yours can be very helpful. We encourage you to take a look at our testimonials page, and ask about the possibility of talking to other patients with your condition.
If you’d like to learn more about selecting the best spinal surgeon for you, schedule an appointment at our office in Independence, Ohio. We’re happy to answer your questions and talk about your specific situation.