Have you had enough of your low back pain? Has arthritis in your spine gotten so bad that you have trouble carrying out your normal routine? If so, you need the help of a qualified and skilled spine doctor to manage pain and prevent disability.
The spine consists of bones, nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues (discs, ligaments, and tendons), which support your body and help you move. Also called the spinal column or vertebral column, your spine is prone to traumatic injury and degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, facet joint syndrome, and many others.
What follows here is a guide to help you find the right spine doctor for your specific musculoskeletal needs.
Compile a List of Spine Doctors
You should start by asking your primary care physician to provide information on spine doctors that they would recommend. PCPs know the specialists in your area, which ones accept your insurance plan, and may be appropriate for your specific musculoskeletal problem.
You can also ask a friend or relative who has seen a spine specialist in the past and had a positive experience with them. You can also search online and find a doctor with substantial experience and excellent reviews from previous patients.
Look for Advanced Training in Complex Spinal Conditions
To treat an injured or diseased spine, a medical doctor or osteopath needs many years of additional education and hands-on training beyond medical school and residency. The best spine doctors are board-certified, meaning they meet advanced standards of orthopedic and/or neurological care. Many of these physicians are also fellowship-trained, having completed additional years of training with other physicians who are experts in a subspecialty, such as spinal surgery.
Check Your Health Insurance Coverage
To avoid any unexpected medical costs, contact your health insurance carrier to see if each of the spine doctors on your list are in-network. Getting specialist care can be expensive, so seeing an out-of-network doctor can result in a lot of out-of-pocket costs for you. Also, ask your insurance carrier about copays that you can expect to pay for each visit to a specialist like a spine doctor.
Research Each Spine Doctor’s Credentials
For each spine doctor on your list, research each physician’s education, experiences, credentials, and reviews. Also, check out their residency training and board-certification in orthopedics and/or neurology.
If you think you may need a surgical procedure, look for a doctor with substantial training and experience in spinal surgery. The North American Spine Society advises that the right spine doctor will allot about half their time performing surgery.
Book an Appointment With Each Spine Doctor
If you have a few spine doctors on your list that meet the bill so far, it’s time to schedule in-person consultations with each of them. An in-office consultation can tell you a lot about the staff’s friendliness and efficiency, the practice’s on-site services, and the spine doctor’s expertise, friendliness, and bedside manner.
Topnotch Spine Care in Wentzville, O’Fallon and St. Peters, Missouri
At Advanced Bone & Joint, our spine doctors deliver the latest and most comprehensive spine care services available anywhere. We treat a long list of spinal conditions, including sciatica, lumbar back pain, degenerative disc disease, facet joint syndrome, arthritis, fractures, strains, and more.
Call today for more information and to arrange an in-office evaluation: (636) 229-4222, or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you at one of our three locations in Missouri.