Dr. Dan Albright, orthopedic surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina explains the thought process a doctor goes through when a patient comes to his office with a neck problem. What are the questions he asks? What is he trying to find out? How does he know if it is a minor or more serious problem? And how does he come up with a diagnosis? This video is insight to how a doctor evaluates a patient in his office.
For more information contact Dr. Dan Albright call 919-863-8606.
Transcription of video:
Hello. A doctor’s perspective on neck pain and neck problems. My name is Dr. Dan Albright. I’m an orthopedic spine surgeon in Raleigh, North Carolina. And I’d like to just share with you for
a moment what I am thinking about as a cervical spine surgeon when a patient walks in my office with a neck problem.
One, I want to know where’s the pain. Is it in your neck? Does it shoot to your shoulder blade? Does it shoot to your shoulder, down your arm, down your leg? Where does the pain go? How long has it been there? How intense is it and how did it start?
These are all things I want know from you, the patient, as soon as I can. I also want to know about function. Can you do your hair okay? Brush your teeth? Can you use your hands okay? Are you weak? Are you numb? And I’ll check that.
I’ll check reflexes in your arms and legs. Check your strength, check your sensation. I’m hoping your nerve evaluation, your exam is normal which it usually is, though if you have weakness or numbness that’s something we have to talk about because that’s more serious.
I want to know how you move. Is your coordination normal? So, those are the things I’m looking at. I’m looking for danger signs
such as weakness, changes in nerve function and then that’s mainly it.
I’ll get some X-rays. See how you’re structured, see how your skeleton is put together. Then we put the history, which
is your comments to me, together with your physical exam, together with your pictures which can be cervical X-rays of the spine, sometimes an MRI of the spine and you put it all together. It’s like a puzzle. That’s what we’re taught in medical school. You put the history and the physical exam and the data, the tests, together to form a picture. Is this just neck pain from arthritis? Is this a muscle ache? Is this a herniated disc with a pinched nerve and pain going down your arm? Do you need emergency surgery? Do you need therapy?
This is some of the thought process from a doctor’s perspective and probably the most important thing early on is we have to make sure there is not an emergency going on. Like you are losing function, have incapacitating pain.
So if you like to know more, I’m happy to talk to you anytime. My website is danalbrightmd.com. Our appointments line is 919-863-6808. Thanks.