The Path to a Healthy Spine
You’ll start off the process with a consultation with our New York spine surgeon, Dr. Daniel Choi. You’ll sit down together and talk about your health history, concerns, symptoms, and location of and triggers for your pain. He’ll also answer any questions you have and fill you in on the next steps.
Dr. Choi is an expert in diagnosing spinal conditions. His goal isn’t to mask your symptoms, but instead to identify and treat the underlying cause of your pain, so you can get lasting relief. Depending on your case and symptoms, the diagnostic process may include:
A Physical Exam
At your consultation, Dr. Choi will conduct a full physical examination. He’ll evaluate your spine and symptoms. He may also ask you to perform certain movements in order to determine the triggers for your pain.
Many times, Dr. Choi will order one or more imaging tests, including an x-ray, a CT scan and/or an MRI. These let him visualize the anatomy of your spine to identify the cause of your pain and the extent of your condition.
Additional Diagnostics Tests
Additional diagnostic tests could be needed to confirm your diagnosis. If we suspect there is a nerve injury or disease, nerve studies, such as electromyography (EMG), may provide valuable information. Dr. Choi might also inject an anesthetic into the area he thinks is responsible for your symptoms (i.e., the facet joint, sacroiliac joint, etc.). If the pain temporarily goes away after the injection, he can be certain that area is the source.
While there are emergencies and very severe cases that require back surgery sooner rather than later, for most patients, after determining a diagnosis, Dr. Choi will try conservative treatments first. These could include a combination of:
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
- Pain medication
- Chiropractic care
- Hot and cold compresses
Spine Surgery Procedures
If non-surgical treatments aren’t effective at alleviating your pain, spine surgery could be necessary. Dr. Choi will talk with you about your options, as well as the risks, benefits and likely outcome of any recommended procedures.
If you decide to move forward with back surgery, Dr. Choi and our team will guide you through the entire process to make it as stress-free as possible for you. Depending on the procedure, surgery will likely be performed at a hospital in Nassau or Suffolk County. We’ll provide you with detailed pre- and post-operative instructions for maximum safety and an optimal recovery.
The specific spine surgery we recommend will depend on your condition. Some of the procedures our board-certified, Long Island orthopaedic spine surgeon performs include: