FAQ for Patients

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FIRST APPOINTMENT AND INTERACTIONS WITH THE OFFICE

No, it does not mean you will need surgery. Most spine conditions are not going to kill or paralyze you. In fact, Dr. Nesterenko is a very conservative surgeon. Meaning, he will try every possible treatment to improve your condition without surgery. At every point, we will discuss with you what the best option is and make any decisions together.

There are no strict requirements. We will see you regardless of available imaging or additional studies.

However, some medical documentation is critical for us to serve you. To avoid any delays in decision-making, we ask that you bring all of your previous imaging and diagnostic studies (both images and radiology reports). Please, bring images on compact discs to be downloaded to our computer system.

If you had previous injections, we need to have the procedure notes.
The same goes with any spine surgeries: please bring the surgical reports.
Other important studies include: bone density scans, EMG/nerve conduction.

Bring previous health documentation and images. You can request them from your medical office. ;

Not as a rule. Typically we only prescribe narcotic medications in early postoperative period.

We encourage that you come with either your family or friends. Large amounts of information may be overwhelming. Having someone else with you may help you make the right decisions.

If you are a surgical candidate, we request that you come to a preoperative appointment (usually two weeks before surgery) with family. It is as important for them to understand what to expect as it is for you.

SURGERY

Most of surgeries are performed at the Grace Medical Center (intersection of the 50th Street and University Avenue).
First, we will have a long conversation about benefits and risks of surgery. We will draw some labs on the same day and refer you back to your primary care doctor for preoperative evaluation. If you don’t have a primary care, this can be done at our office. Depending on your medical history, we may also request additional studies and consultations.
If there is no emergency, for your safety we try to obtain all needed studies and clearance from your primary physician. Usually it takes about two weeks. There may be variations depending on how busy our surgical schedule is. We also try to work around your schedule.
Surgical procedures are different for every patient, but we are here to answer any of your questions about the process and address all of your concerns in the days and weeks leading up to your operation. Together we will go over the benefits and risks of the procedure so you go in fully aware of what is to happen.
This will depend how well you recover. Physical therapy, PT, will work with you and determine whether you are safe to go home from the hospital or need to have structured therapy in a rehabilitation center.
Yes, one family member will be able to stay overnight in your room.
There are three parts to this question: postoperative pain, ability to ambulate and return to normal activities.

  • Pain after surgery usually lasts three-to-five days, while inflammation subsides.
  • Physical therapy will try and mobilize you as soon after surgery as possible; sometimes the same day, if the operation was done in the morning.
  • If you didn’t have spine fusion, your activities will be only limited by discomfort. In cases of fusion, however, we ask that you don’t do Bending, heavy Lifting, and Twisting for three months, while the fusion heals. Remember: no BLT for three months.
This will be determined by your response to physical therapy. In general, the fitter you are before the surgery, the better you tend to tolerate and faster recover after it.
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