Orthopaedic spine surgery

David Chandler, M.D.
Orthopaedic Surgeon / Orthopaedic Spine Specialist
Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
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 Q: When a patient does require spine surgery, what can a patient expect from you as an orthopaedic spine surgeon?
David Chandler, M.D.: It would be most appropriate for the patient when they're seeing me to have already been worked up and had conservative treatment, and we’re discussing whether surgery is an appropriate option for them or not and how we would proceed with surgery. Occasionally, there are some patients where their condition is such that they have to jump over conservative treatment. If they have a neurologic compression, they have a foot drop or they just have severe pain that cannot be managed functionally, then we would proceed immediately to surgery in order to maintain or restore their function.
 Q: What can a patient expect after a spine surgery?
David Chandler, M.D.: The type of procedure that is done will dictate how the patient is treated and that will dictate how they do postoperatively. If we have patients that go to surgery for a diskectomy that can be done on an outpatient basis now and they can recover within a few days to weeks. If however we're doing a spinal fusion then we're trying to protect the fusion construct that we have created until the bone can grow satisfactorily, healing one bone to another so that they could then resume normal activity. That can sometimes take several months of restricted activity.


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