When I meet with patients about problems they are having with their back or neck, they often refer to their most recent MRI scan. However, as an expert spine surgeon, I am more interested in examining the patient instead of examining the MRI.
As a Los Angeles spine surgeon, my job is to listen to the patients and examine them. In the days before MRI and CT scans, doctors treated patients based on their complaints and their symptoms. Their treatment recommendations may have included spine surgery or other options. Unfortunately, more and more physicians simply rely on a picture from an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to treat their patients instead of taking the time to thoroughly examine them. This can lead to the patient being misdiagnosed or not receiving the proper form of treatment.
There are plenty of things that can look abnormal or unusual on imaging tests such as MRIs and CT scans. What appears on the scan is not always the same as what is hurting the patient. The ultimate goal of the doctor should be to treat the patient, not fix what shows on the MRI. For this reason, patients should always be completely examined by their doctor.
Watch Dr. Gravori Discuss Diagnosing Spinal Conditions
A problem can arise if your doctor does not listen to you and inspect you properly to pin-point the problem and the correct cause of your problem. Patients will not heal with the incorrect diagnosis because, even if you have the best treatments, they will be for the wrong cause. If a problematic disc shown on the MRI is not the cause of your pain or numbness, your symptoms may not be alleviated even after treatment or surgery. The only way to ensure that the patient’s problems are being appropriately addressed is for the doctor to first accurately assess and diagnose the patient.
For example, leg numbness or pain in a patient is typically attributed to the lumbar disc or other spine condition. However there are several other possible reasons for leg numbness or pain. Patients could potentially be diagnosed with hip or knee joint problems, muscle spasms, malnutrition, or even an abdomen or pelvic tumor. If a doctor does not perform a thorough examination on the patient, they could miss something like a tumor and instead focus on an irrelevant disc in the back. At ProMed SPINE, I spend 60 – 90 minutes face to face with our patients trying to correlate their symptoms with the correct diagnosis.
If your leg, back, or neck pain is not improving after visiting a doctor, you may have:
The wrong diagnosis
A separate cause for your symptoms
Inadequate treatment for the right condition
Schedule a Consultation with an Expert Los Angeles Spine Surgeon Today!
At ProMed SPINE, your well-being is our primary focus. As a highly experienced spine surgeon, I understand that a complete patient examination is the first step towards finding the right treatment. If you are having chronic pain or numbness in your neck, back, or legs, schedule a consultation by calling 888-75-SPINE today!
To learn more, contact our office.