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FAQs

surgery
Do you take my insurance?

For specific concerns regarding insurance, co-payments, referrals, etc, please call our main number at 423-265-2233 and relate your concerns; you will be connected to the appropriate individual.

Are the surgeons here “knife happy?” Do I have to sign up for surgery? How do I know that my treatment is “state of the art?”

Our philosophy is to perform the smallest intervention possible that has a good likelihood of improving a patient’s current condition. Most of the time this consists of non-surgical treatment. CNS clinic has formulated an excellent program of physical therapy, medical management, and localized injections. When surgery is indicated, we make a focused effort to perform the smallest surgery possible. We utilize minimally invasive techniques and the newest technologies to preserve a patients range of motion and activity level. We are committed to getting our patients back to their optimal quality of life. Extensive fusions and spinal screw instrumentation are performed only when necessary for a handful of cases.

MINIMALLY INVASIVE TECHNIQUES AVAILABLE:

  • Minimally invasive lumbar discectomy through a 20mm incision
  • Artificial cervical disc as an alternative to fusion
  • Artificial lumbar disc as an alternative to fusion
  • Minimally invasive lumbar fusion through two 1” incisions
  • Kyphoplasty for minimally invasive treatment of spinal fractures
  • Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery for quicker healing
  • Commitment to minimizing spinal fusions
  • Comprehensive non-operative program
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery for treatment of certain brain conditions
  • X-stop interspinous distraction device

I thought Neurosurgeons only worked on the brain. Do you do enough spine surgery to be good at it?

We take pride in offering the best spine treatment available. We are uniquely qualified to manage all your spinal disorders. Why? Neurosurgeons actually complete more spinal surgery training than any other specialty. Furthermore, we are the only physicians that treat the entire CNS. This includes the spinal cord itself, the individual nerves, and all the structures surrounding the spinal cord: the bones of the spine, the discs, and the ligaments. Because neurosurgeons spend most of their time treating spine problems, they are familiar with all treatment options and are uniquely qualified to determine which option will be the safest and most effective for each patient. Finally, Neurosurgeons are the only spine specialists to receive formal training in Neurology and Neuro-Radiology. We are well qualified to diagnose neurologic conditions, interpret MRI scans and CAT scans, and make professional judgment regarding treatment options.

How do I get my medications refilled?

Your Physician’s assistant will be happy to assist you with medication refills. Please call our main number at 423-265-2233 and ask to be connected to the assistant’s voicemail. It will take 24 to 36 hours to fill a prescription. If you call after noontime on a weekday, you can expect your prescription to be available the following day after 5pm. We do not re-fill prescriptions on Friday afternoon or on the weekends.

How do I get my test results?

Your Physician’s assistant will be happy to assist you with test results. Please call our main number at 423-265-2233 and ask to be connected to the assistant’s voicemail. It will generally take 2-4 days to receive your test results.

“Will my surgery be done with a laser?”

No. Every doctor at Chattanooga Neurosurgery & Spine knows how to use a laser. However, it has almost zero usefulness in most spine surgeries and in fact may be harmful to you.

“What is the difference in what you do and a Laser Spine Center?”

In both cases, the main portion of the procedure consists of entering the body in a minimally invasive fashion, and then removing bone spurs and disc bulge that are compressing the nerves of the spinal cord. This is accomplished with precision utilizing an operative microscope and the best tools available to promote safety.

At laser institutes, a 2nd procedure is then performed wherein the mobile joints of the spine are burned with high energy, high heat lasers. In theory, this can reduce back pain arthritis. In reality, this probably has no impact on your outcome. At worst, you could experience thermal injuries to the spine, worsened arthritis, and injury to nerves.

“What is so great about lasers?

Lasers are excellent at burning things in a very precise manner. However, in your spine, the last thing we want to do is burn one of the delicate nerve roots controlling your body.

“Why do I see so many ads about Laser Spine Centers?”

Lasers have always suggested cutting edge and precision. It is only natural that the term ‘Laser’ will be an effective marketing tool to capture people’s desire for the newest, best option.

In truth, lasers have almost zero usefulness in your spine surgery and can actually be harmful. The most high tech, least invasive treatment options are readily available at Chattanooga Neurosurgery and Spine.