Frequently Asked Questions

If you have been advised that surgery is recommended for your condition, you may have a number of questions. Many of them are answered below.
For more information, talk to your doctor or medical assistant.

How are surgeries scheduled?

Once the decision to schedule surgery has been made, Precision Spine Center staff assists in scheduling the surgery. The medical assistants work with patients to set a date and time for the surgery as well as begin the education and preparation of patients; and a representative of the business office will begin insurance pre-certification of the surgical procedure.

What will need to be done in preparation for surgery?

A medical assistant works with each Precision Spine Center physician to coordinate the preparation and education of all surgical patients. Patients receive educational materials and support throughout the preoperative process.

All patients undergoing surgery will need a history and physical performed by their family physician. Other preparations may include additional diagnostic testing, consultations with medical specialists or brace fittings.

Within two weeks before surgery, patients complete surgery preparations that may include skin and/or bowel cleansing and diet restrictions. The medical assistant provides the details of these preparations and guides patients as they prepare for surgery.

When are patients admitted to the hospital?

Most patients are instructed to arrive at the hospital on the day they are scheduled for surgery, two hours prior to the scheduled surgery time. The medical assistant or secretary will instruct patients on arrival times.

How long are patients hospitalized?

Some surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis while others require a hospital stay. As a part of the surgery discussion, the physician will provide an estimated length of hospitalization. However, discharge from the hospital is more dependent on the achievement of certain goals than an estimated number of days. These goals include pain management, tolerance of activity and an understanding of discharge teaching.

What will happen during my hospitalization?

No two hospitalizations are alike. Pathways, which outline the usual course of a hospital stay, are given to most patients. Physicians and medical assistants will also describe what patients may expect while hospitalized.

What happens at the time of discharge?

A nurse case manager may meet with you during your hospital stay and through discussion with you, the physician, physical therapy as well as the nursing staff they will perform an assessment. This assessment helps clinic and hospital staff identify patients who may need additional care at discharge, such as transfer to a transitional care facility, home care, physical therapy and/or medical equipment. Most patients will not need additional services and can care for themselves at discharge.

What follow-up is required after the surgery?

Most patients are seen in the clinic at 2, 6 and 12 weeks after surgery. Additional follow-up is determined after these visits. Patients may be seen at intervals for up to a year or more depending on the type of surgery performed. The physician and staff provide instruction on follow-up visits.

When should the physician or clinic be contacted after surgery?

Contact the physician’s staff at any time with questions or concerns after discharge from the hospital. Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., call (303) 790-2225 to speak to a nurse clinician. After business hours, on weekends and holidays, contact the on-call physician at (303) 790-2225.

Report any of the following occurrences immediately:

  • Incision Problems — Infections following incisions are rare, however these symptoms may indicate an infection.
  • Redness or inflammation
  • Increased pain or tenderness
  • Localized warmth
  • Drainage from the incision
  • Opening or pulling apart of the incision
  • Body chills and/or excessive sweating
  • Fever over 100° F or 38° C
  • Pain — Some pain is to be expected after surgery, but excessive pain and any new or unusual pain at the incision or anywhere should be reported immediately. Report calf pain or tenderness, chest pain or shortness of breath, which may indicate the presence of blood clots.
  • Changes in Motion and/or Sensation — Report any significant change in sensation such as numbness or tingling not relieved by rest or position change. Also call if you experience an inability to move extremities or changes in muscle coordination.
  • Urination and Bowel Movements — Immediately report any loss of bowel or bladder control or any burning or urgency with urination