There are so many questions you may have. We think you’ll find the answers you’ve been looking for here. If not, please give us a call. We’re happy to assist.

Q: Do I need a referral to see Dr. Jatana?
A: Referrals are only needed if required by insurance.

Q: What kind of restrictions will I face after surgery?
A: While the specific instructions you will receive will vary depending on the procedure, in general, for spine surgeries, there are four main precautions: no bending, no lifting more than 10 pounds, no twisting and no straining. You may also be required to wear a brace to maintain immobility while healing. You must also wait a minimum of four weeks or until the incision is completely healed before submerging it a bath or hot tub.

Q: What should I expect on the day of my surgery?
A: This informational video will guide you through the surgery process.

Q: When is surgery an appropriate treatment?
A: Surgery is usually recommended when other more conservative treatments have failed to relieve symptoms. Surgery might also be required if a condition is causing nerve compression or if there are structural abnormalities present. Dr. Jatana suggests that patients consider a second opinion if needed.

Q: What should I expect during my first visit?
A: Either Dr. Jatana or his assistant will review your history, medical records and x-rays. They will conduct a complete examination and take x-rays if you have not had any done previously. They will also discuss your expectations regarding care and determine what treatment options might best fit your goals. The average new patient appointment can last anywhere from one to two hours.

Q: What should I bring with me to my first visit?
A: It is important to bring all medical records, X-rays, MRIs or CT scans, as well as any reports related to your condition. We also ask that you complete our patient information sheet, spine questionnaire and privacy policy before you arrive. Those forms can be downloaded here.

Q: What are the benefits of the artificial disc?
A: Generally speaking, those who receive artificial disc replacements return to activity sooner than traditional fusion patients. Also, because there is no need to harvest bone from the patient’s hip, there is no discomfort or recovery associated with a second incision site. Some of the overall benefits of artificial disc surgery include:

  • Retains movement and stability of the spine
  • Minimizes degeneration of surrounding segments
  • No bone graft required
  • Quicker recovery and return to work
  • Less invasive and painful than a fusion
  • Reduces pain associated with disc disease

Q: Are there any drawbacks associated with the artificial disc?
A: When treating knee and hip replacement patients, orthopedic surgeons try to postpone the implantation of an artificial joint until a patient is at least 50 years old so that they do not outlive their artificial joint, which typically lasts anywhere from 15 to 20 years. Revision surgery, which may be necessary to replace a worn-out artificial joint, can be complex. This is also a concern with the artificial disc. Unlike knee and hip replacement patients who are typically in their 50s or 60s, many patients who benefit from artificial disc technology are much younger —usually 30 to 65 years old. Therefore, the implantation of an artificial disc in younger patients can raise a surgeon’s concern about the potential life span of the artificial disc in the spine and the need for revision surgery to replace a worn-out artificial disc, which can be complex.

Q: Do you offer laser spine surgery options?
A: Patients often ask us if they are candidates for laser spine surgery, with the impression that a procedure involving “laser surgery” uses the most up to date technology available. In reality, however, significant advances have been made that improve on the many limitations inherent in laser spine surgery. Minimally invasive spinal microsurgery utilizing an advanced, high technology operating microscope and retractors or tubes which limit soft tissue trauma during surgical exposure now represents the highest tech spinal surgery available.

Q: What is minimally invasive surgery?
A: Minimally invasive surgical techniques provide the opportunity to successfully treat back problems with minimal interruption to the patient’s regular, active lifestyle. Results achieved from these methods have been proven to match that of conventional “open surgery.” The surgeon makes smaller incisions, sometimes only a half-inch in length. Through these tiny incisions, the surgeon inserts special surgical instruments and probes in order to access the damaged disc in the spine. By using minimally invasive techniques, access and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae is achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues. Other benefits of minimally invasive techniques include shorter surgery duration and recovery time, less visible scars and reduced pain and blood loss.