Electing to have surgery, particularly a spine surgery, can be an extremely stressful and unnerving decision. Fortunately, there are many new treatments and advanced technologies utilized in spine surgery today. However, it is difficult to understand which treatment(s) will be best for you, or even if you are an appropriate candidate for surgery.
Therefore, Dr. Spoonamore and the USC Spine Center offer a free Online Consultation service that allows patients to a obtain second, independent opinion regarding their spinal condition.
There are four primary components of a regular office consultation when a physician sees a patient in the office:
- Patient History – it is necessary for the physician to understand the patient’s current symptoms, as well as previous treatments and the response to those treatments. The past medical and surgical history, medications, allergies, and social history are also obtained.
- Physical Examination – the physician performs a comprehensive physical examination of the patient, with a focus on the musculoskeletal spine and neurological aspects.
- Imaging – the physician reviews all pertinent x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and laboratory tests.
- Diagnosis and Treatment Plan – the physician formulates a diagnosis and discusses this with patient, as well as what the recommended treatments may be, including applicable risks and possible benefits of these treatments. The physician is also able to answer additional questions.
Unfortunately, the physical examination component is not able to be performed if a consultation is rendered online. Instead, Dr. Spoonamore has developed a special questionnaire that asks the patient specific questions regarding pain, tenderness, strength, sensation, and walking ability, so that a meaningful consult can still be obtained.
In order to submit for an online consultation, a patient must fill out the Online Consultation History Form, and send the completed form with all pertinent imaging studies (actual x-rays and MRI’s, etc – NOT just the reports) and test results to Dr. Spoonamore’s Office. The patient must also send Dr. Spoonamore an E-mail Request for Online Consultation prior to mailing the packet. After Dr. Spoonamore reviews all of the paperwork and imaging studies, Dr. Spoonamore or his assistant will personally call the patient and discuss the diagnosis and treatment options in detail, as well as answer any additional questions the patient may have. Shortly after this, the packet will be mailed back to the patient.
Instructions for Online Consultation/Second Opinion
- Send Dr. Spoonamore an E-Mail Request for Online Consultation/Second Opinion, and tell him when you expect to mail the films/packet to his office.
- Download the Online Consultation History Form, and fill it out completely.
- Compile all pertinent spine x-ray films, MRI, CT scans (actual films, NOT just reports), and test results.
- Mail the entire packet (History Form and x-rays/MRI’s, etc.) to: Mark J. Spoonamore, M.D.
c/o ONLINE CONSULTATION
USC Spine Center
1450 San Pablo Street, Suite 5400
Los Angeles, CA 90033
- Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (or FedEx, UPS, etc. packet) if you would like the MRI/CT/X-ray CD-ROMs and/or DVDs to be returned to you.
NOTE: The materials WILL NOT be returned unless this is done.