Frequently Asked Questions

Diagnostic FAQs +

+- My doctor has suggested a cortisone injection for my back. I have heard that cortisone is bad for you. What are the risks of having a cortisone injection?
+- How does a bone scan work?
+- I have an injured disc and my doctor said I needed to have a discogram test. What is a discogram, and what will it show?
+- My doctor thinks I have a pinched nerve in my neck and wants to do an EMG test. What does EMG stand for, and how will this test help my doctor diagnose my condition?
+- This is the first time I've had low back pain. Will I have to have X-rays on my first visit to the doctor?
+- I have a metal plate in my leg, and need an MRI Scan of my low back. I have been told that because the MRI Scanner uses a very strong magnet that I may not be able to have one done. Will I be able to have an MRI Scan?
+- What information does an MRI scan give?
+- My doctor said I need to have a spinal tap. What is this test, and why do I need it?
+- How will my doctor begin to examine my spine?
+- What does an X-ray show?
+- My doctor has suggested a cortisone injection for my back. I have heard that cortisone is bad for you. What are the risks of having a cortisone injection?
+- I thought I had a problem with my back. My doctor examined me and said it's not my back, but that I have a sacroiliac dysfunction. What is a sacroiliac dysfunction, and can I be sure that I don't have problems with my back?
+- What is the difference between a bulging disc and a herniated disc?
+- I have degenerative disc disease with spurs in my back and neck. Do you think I'll be in much pain the older I get?
+- I had scoliosis as a teenager and was told that it would stop after I stopped growing. I'm 32 now, and it seems to be getting worse. Could this be something else happening, or is the scoliosis getting worse? Will I need surgery?
+- I recently saw my family doctor for pain in my calf and foot. My family doctor said I have a herniated disc in my low back, so she referred me to a spine specialist. Can this be true? How can this pain be coming from something in my back?
+- My doctor has suggested a cortisone injection for my back. I have heard that cortisone is bad for you. What are the risks of having a cortisone injection?
+- My spine condition has kept me out of work for some time. When can I get back to work, and how will I know I can do my work safely?
+- I get a lot of back pain when I sit at my computer. Do I need a new chair?
+- Is "correct" posture really that important to the health of my spine?
+- Are abdominal "crunch" exercises the best way to keep from having low back pain?
+- Should I lock my feet when doing a sit up?
+- What exercises should I continue doing to keep my low back toned and healthy?
+- How can I keep from having problems with my spine after spine surgery?
+- Will a support belt or brace keep my low back safe when I lift at work?
+- My doctor has suggested a cortisone injection for my back. I have heard that cortisone is bad for you. What are the risks of having a cortisone injection?
+- My doctor said my X-rays showed that a vertebra in my low back is slipping forward. Will this get worse and will my spine eventually slip off?
+- Part of my hand feels numb and my arm just doesn't seem as strong as it should. Could this be from a pinched nerve?
+- Are there any serious signs or conditions I should know about?
+- I can't get comfortable in bed. Do I need a special mattress or pillow?
+- How can my neck be the problem when I feel the pain in my arm?
+- After I retired last year, my wife and I began walking for exercise to help the back problem I have had for years. I have noticed over the past few months that I get a burning pain in my legs after walking about 10 minutes. It goes away if I rest but then
+- Both my parents have osteoarthritis. Does the pain in my upper back mean that I'm getting it too?
+- I've had back pain off and on for years. Why does it keep coming back?
+- Are there other medical professionals who may be able to help me deal with my chronic spine pain?
+- I hear a crunching noise when I turn my neck. Is this bad? Should I have it checked?
+- When will the pain in my spine go away?
+- I just turned 48 and my husband noticed that my upper back is starting to become rounded in appearance. Why is this, and will my posture continue to get worse?
+- My doctor has suggested a cortisone injection for my back. I have heard that cortisone is bad for you. What are the risks of having a cortisone injection?
+- Why do I need to quit smoking before having spine surgery?
+- I have pain at work. Is there anything that can be done to help me work with less pain?
+- My doctor has suggested that I have a spine fusion in my lower spine. How will this affect my ability to bend over?
+- I have metal screws in my back from a spine fusion. Will I be able to go through a metal detector at the airport?
+- If I have a spine fusion surgery using metal screws and rods, will they ever need to be removed?
+- What are the risks of minimally invasive spine surgery?
+- What is minimally invasive spine surgery and how is it different from traditional spine surgery?
+- I keep reading about doctors prescribing Glucosamine for arthritis. Will this medication help my back pain?
+- What can I do while I am at home to relieve my back pain?
+- Should I just lie in bed and avoid exercise if I am having extra back pain?
+- What is spinal decompression and spine fusion surgery?
+- Can I just use a brace to take my low back pain away?
+- My spine is really hurting. I thought I would just go ahead and have surgery, but my doctor is recommending conservative spine treatment instead. What is conservative treatment, and will it help my problem as much as surgery?
+- What should I expect on the first visit to my doctor?
+- When can I play golf, ride a bike, or go hiking after spine surgery?
+- Which is better to use, heat or ice?
+- What hobbies and recreational activities should I avoid?
+- What can I do if my pain comes back or gets worse?
+- My doctor has suggested that I have a spine fusion surgery using a metal plate in my back. What are the chances that my body will reject the metal plate?
+- Is minimally invasive surgery a new technique?
+- Are lasers used in spine surgery?
+- If I have surgery to take out a disc in my back, what will replace the disc that the doctor removes?
+- I'm scheduled for a spine fusion of my low back. Will I be able to get up and walk without difficulty after I have surgery?
+- I've had pain and problems with my low back for many years. What can I expect from my spine surgery?
+- How will I know whether surgery is needed?
+- My friend told me about a TENS unit she uses for her back pain. What is a TENS unit, and will it work for me?
+- Will I need to have therapy until my pain goes completely away?
+- My spine is really hurting. I thought I would just go ahead and have surgery, but my doctor is recommending conservative spine treatment instead. What is conservative treatment, and will it help my problem as much as surgery?
+- As long as I have therapy I feel better. Can I keep coming once each week?
+- Is there anything I can do now to help ease my pain?
+- Will my doctor prescribe medications for my condition?
+- What are the risks of minimally invasive spine surgery?
+- My surgeon has suggested that I need a fusion between the C5 and C6 vertebrae in my neck. How will I be able to turn my neck after it is fused?
+- What can I do to keep from making my pain worse?
+- How much longer will I need physical therapy?

NEW YORK LOCATIONS

Queens

Queens

Kew Gardens

Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center
The Brooklyn Spine & Arthritis Center
Lutheran Medical Center

Manhattan

Manhattan

Upper East Side

Long Island

Long Island

Garden City
East Hills
Melville
Massapequa