FAQ for Patients

Any sort of medical procedure can be a worry which is why Dr.Nesterenko and his team are are always happy to talk to you about your care surgery. We've also found that patients often have general queries about our services so we have put together a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions with detailed answers so that you have all the information you need at your fingertips. We've also included a FAQ for providers wanting to refer patients or use our services.

FAQ for Patients
  • FAQ for Providers

  • Q: How long does it take before you see a new patient?

    A: At this point it may take one-to-two weeks to the appointment. If your patient needs to be seen sooner, please give us a call and we will accommodate them either on the same or the next day.

  • Q: What studies are required for patients to see you?

    A: There are no imaging requirements to be seen at our office. However, having existing previous images available for our review together with radiology reports will expedite decision-making and add value to the patient visit.

  • Q: What documentation do you need to be sent with the patient?

    A: In patients with previous history of spine conditions we also need to have records pertaining to injections and surgeries (procedure reports). Other important documentation is bone density scans and EMG/nerve conduction studies

  • Q: What insurances do you accept?

    A: We accept most commercial insurances, Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers Compensation. We are out of network with two plans: BCBS HMO Blue Advantage and UMC Team Choice.

  • Q: Are there any patients that you will not see?

    A: Patients with a history of motor vehicle accidents and active litigation may not be ideal candidates for invasive treatments. For this reason we ask that you consider extensive nonoperative management instead of referring them for surgical evaluation.

  • Q: How will you communicate back with our office?

    A: Typically we mail a summary of our visit to your office within one to two days. If our response is needed sooner, please indicate it on your referral letter or give us a call.

  • Q: What is the best way to communicate with you?

    A: Calling our office is the easiest way (806-744-7223, ext. 4180). If you need to leave a voicemail, we will respond within one hour. If you would like to talk to Dr. Nesterenko you can call either the main office number or his cell (you can get this number by calling us.) You can also fax us at 806-740-3382 and use the “Contact Us” form on the web site.

  • FAQ for Patients


  • If I am referred for a surgical consultation, does it mean I will need surgery?

    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.

  • What do I need to bring for my first appointment?

    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.

  • What can I do to expedite things and get my questions answered sooner?

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

  • Will you refill my narcotic medications?

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

  • Who can visit your office together with me?

    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.


  • Where do you perform surgery?

    Most of surgeries are performed at the Grace Medical Center (intersection of the 50th Street and University Avenue).

  • If we decide together that surgery is needed, what is the sequence of events?

    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.

  • How long does it take until the surgery once the decision is made?

    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.

  • How will I know what to expect?

    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.

  • For how long will I stay in the hospital?

    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.

  • Will my family be able to stay with me while in the hospital?

    Yes, one family member will be able to stay overnight in your room.

  • How long does rehabilitation take?

    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.
  • Will I need to go to a rehabilitation facility?

    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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