The decision of whether or not to go in for spinal surgery is difficult to make. Joining host Andrew Schorr to help patients sort through their options on this episode of Patient Power is Dr. Jens Chapman, professor of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine at the University of Washington. Jodie Kent also joins the program to share her story and offer advice. Jodie has had two neck surgeries over the last two years, and she’s been a nurse for 22 years.
Some patients wait a long time before having surgery, and others rush into surgery because of intense back, neck or shoulder pain. Dr. Chapman helps patients to understand the pros and cons, and what factors to consider in making a decision. He also explains how certain activities, such as regular stretching, can improve back pain. Dr. Chapman gives a physician’s perspective on how to get the best, most comprehensive care for doctors who are often stretched thin. Finally, he answers listener questions about spinal stenosis treatment, disk herniations, the new artificial disk, and more.
Jodie offers tips for how to navigate the healthcare system, including the importance of having a good primary care doctor. Dr. Chapman and Jodie both discuss the importance of having reasonable expectations, where to get good information, and how to have a smart discussion with your doctor about whether surgery is right for you. Jodie says, “The questions you don't ask before surgery may cost you dearly later, so be informed.” Listen now to learn more.
Jodi Kent, R.N.
Patient, Neck Surgery for Chronic PainPatient, Neck Surgery for Chronic Pain more >
Jens R. Chapman, M.D.
Professor, Department of Orthopedics, UW MedicineDr. Jens R. Chapman is Professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Chapman is also a spine service faculty member at Puget Sound Veterans Administration Medical Center in Seattle. He has been on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel for spinal... more >