FAQ & Glossary

When do I need to go to a doctor for neck or back pain?

Most episodes of neck and back pain last only a few days, and completely resolve within a few weeks. If you have new onset, severe neck or back pain that does not start improving after a day or two, or a trauma has occurred, you should contact your doctor to see if you need further evaluation. There are some warning signs that may indicate a problem that needs immediate evaluation, such as pain that awakens you at night, significant muscle weakness, difficulty controlling your bowels or bladder, fever, chills, sweats, or other signs of infection.

How do I make an appointment to see Dr. Spoonamore?

Appointments to see Dr. Spoonamore can made by telephone, mail, or e-mail. Make An Appointment.

What is the difference between an orthopaedic spine surgeon and a neurosurgeon? Who should do my surgery?

Orthopaedic surgeons complete a postgraduate residency training program of the surgical treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, including the spine. Neurosurgeons complete a postgraduate residency training program of the surgical treatment of neurological disorders, including the spine. Therefore, both specialties receive basic surgical spine training and are theoretically qualified to perform spine surgery. However, because spine surgery has evolved so much and become very specialized, most spine surgeons (ortho and neuro) practicing today typically complete additional training in spine surgery (spine fellowship). This additional training is often what differentiates a spinal surgeon's capability to perform unique and technically demanding spine operations, more so than whether a surgeon received basic orthopaedic or neurosurgical training.

The decision to have a spine surgery performed by one surgeon rather than another surgeon should be based more on a particular surgeon's training, expertise, and ability to perform the operation that you are going to have as well your general comfort level with the surgeon's demeanor and compassion, rather than just his/her basic resident training credentials.

How long will it take to recover from spine surgery? When can I return to work or sports?

The answer is different depending on the severity of the spinal condition and the type of surgery performed. Some patients undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery can return to work within a few days, while others require many months to recover. Recovery time and return to work and sports questions are answered for each specific surgical treatment in the Treatment Options section.

Will my spine surgery be performed by a resident or medical student?

Absolutley not. Dr. Spoonamore perform all aspects of the spine operation from beginning to end. Chief orthopeadic surgery residents are skilled medical doctors and function as first and second assistants during complex spinal operations and help with postoperative care. Most other hospitals utilize only nurses or medical assistants for these tasks.

Does Dr. Spoonamore treat Worker's Compensation patients?

Yes. Dr. Spoonamore will evaluate and treat worker's compensation patients with accepted cases. Worker's Compensation patients will not be seen on a lien basis.