FAQs- Ask a Spine Specialist

FAQs- Ask a Spine Specialist
Questions about Appointments
Questions about Billing
Questions about Procedures
Questions for Workers’ Compensation Patients
Questions about Peachtree Spine Physicians / Appointments / Scheduling
Q. What is a physiatrist?
A. Physiatrists specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, and work to restore function to patients who are suffering from painful spine disorders. Our main focus is the neck and back but we will treat knees, shoulders, legs etc. We use alternate treatments as we try not to rely on pain medication.
Q. What are your hours of operation?
A. We are open Monday through Friday, typically from 8:30am to 5:00pm. On occasion, we can accommodate early morning appointments for procedures. Our phones turn on at 8:00am and are forwarded to our answering service at 5:00pm. One of our physicians is always on call every day of the week for after hours emergencies.
Q. Where are you located?
A. Our main office and procedure center is located in Sandy Springs. We have 5 other locations throughout the metro-Atlanta area. Please click our contact page for addresses and directions to each location. For iPhone users, download our Peachtree Spine app for directions and more!
Q. How much is parking?
A. There may be a parking fee at certain locations. Please click our contact page to determine if your location has a parking fee.
Q. What medical conditions do your physicians treat?
A. Our physicians help to restore function to patients that have painful spine disorders and/or injuries. Please see our Patient Education page for a complete list of medical conditions that our physicians address.
Q. How do I schedule an appointment?
A. There are several ways to schedule an appointment. You can call 404-843-3323, option 2 to schedule an appointment. You can request an appointment online through our Online Referrals page. You should get a phone call within 1 hour to schedule an appointment or you can download our iPhone App to quickly schedule an appointment.
Q. Why do I have to come early for my clinic appointment?
A. Depending on your appointment type, you will need to come early to fill out paperwork. Please select your appointment type on the Forms page for more specific information of your arrival time. You may also download the forms to fill out before you come in. Doing so may allow you to be seen earlier than your scheduled appointment time.
Q. Is Peachtree Spine Physicians a pain management clinic?
A. We are a pain management clinic, but our focus is on rehabilitation, therapy, injections, and modalities other than chronic opiate pain medicine management. We do not dispense opiate medications on a first chronic pain visit and require previous records.
Q. What is an EMG/NCS?
A. EMG (Electromyography) is a diagnostic test of nerves and muscles. Nerve conduction study (NCS) is a component of the EMG that measures nerve function. It is helpful to diagnose causes of numbness and weakness in the arms and legs. Please click the following for more information: Electromyography (EMG)
Q. Is there special clothing I need to wear for my EMG/NCS?
A. Clothing, such as short-sleeved shirts, shorts and skirts, allows for easy access to the arms and legs, and are preferred. Please do not apply any lotions, creams, ointments or oils to the skin on the morning of your test. Please click the following for more information: Electromyography (EMG)
Q. What is a herniated disc?
A. A herniated disc is a bulging or ruptured vertebral disc that can push against a nerve root causing pain down the arm or leg. Please click the following for more information: Herniated Disc
Q. What is radiculopathy?
A. Radiculopathy is irritation of the spinal nerve roots causing pain down the arm or leg. Please click the following for more information: Lumbar and Cervical Radiculopathy
Q. What is facet joint pain?
A. There are small joints in the spine called facet joints that provide stability to the spine. These joints can become injured or degenerative leading to back and neck pain. Please click the following for more information: Facet Joint Pain
Q. What is sacroilitis/sacroiliac joint pain?
A. Sacroilitis is when one or both of the sacroiliac joints, which connect the lower spine to the pelvis, become inflamed. Symptoms associated with sacroilitis/sacroiliac joint pain include pain in the buttocks or lower back, and potentially pain down one or both legs. Please click the following for more information: Sacroilitis/Sacroiliac Joint Pain
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Questions about Billing
Q: Why did I receive two statements for my procedure?
A: When you have a procedure, we send out two claims, one for professional services and one for facility charges. For more information please call 404-843-3323, option 3.
Q: How much will my first visit be if I do not want to use insurance?
A: A $50.00 deposit is required for all self-pay patients to schedule your first visit; this will be deducted from your final fee. Be prepared to pay around $60.00 – $200.00 for your first visit. We cannot give you a set price as we won’t know how much your visit will be until after the physician has seen you. For more information please call 404-843-3323, option 3.
Q: How much will my co-pay be?
A: Our billing department will verify your benefits and call you at least 1-2 days before your appointment to let you know what you’re responsible for and what your insurance covers. You can also look on the front of your insurance card under “Specialist copay” for the amount of your copay. For more information please call 404-843-3323, option 3.
Q: How much does my procedure cost?
A: Our billing department will verify your benefits and call you at least 1-2 days before your appointment to let you know what you’re responsible for and what your insurance covers. For more information please call 404-843-3323, option 3.
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Questions about Procedures
Q: Will I be put to sleep?
A: No, patients are offered moderate sedation, which is given through an IV. It consists of medications that help you relax.
Q: Why do I need a driver?
A: You may have weakness after a procedure that would make it dangerous for you to drive. If you receive sedation, your driving would be impaired as well.
Q: Why can’t I eat or drink 4 hours before?
A: In case of an adverse reaction, the doctors prefer your stomach to be empty.
Q: When can I eat?
A: Immediately after the procedure. Patients are also offered a snack in the recovery room.
Q: Why do I need to be there 30 minutes before my appointment time?
A: To fill out paper work and for triage/preparation for the procedure. This is very important, and failure to do so may result in delaying the time of your procedure or rescheduling. Please see the Instructions page to fill out your paperwork before coming to the procedure.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: Pain is relative to each individual. Some patients say they didn’t feel any pain, just “pressure” and others say it was painful. If you are worried at all about discomfort, we do have sedation available to help you relax and feel more comfortable.
Q: Can I go back to work after the injection?
A: Patients are advised to rest on the day of the injection but may return to their normal activities the following day.
Q: Do I need to bring my MRI films?
A: Yes. The doctor may want to review them before the procedure.
Q: How long will I be there?
A: You need to plan to be here for at least an hour and a half.
Q: How long will it take until I notice results?
A: Most patients get some immediate pain relief after their procedure. The timetable of relief depends on what procedure is performed, and what medications are used. Please see our Treatments page to determine what the usual response is to your specific procedure.
Q: What location are the procedures performed in?
A: All procedures requiring the use of fluoroscopy (X-ray) will be performed in Suite G99 of the Medical Quarters Building. Please click here for the address and directions: Atlanta – Medical Quarters
Q: Is there special clothing I should wear for my procedure?
A: Please wear comfortable elastic waist pants (sweat pants), shorts, or jeans for your procedure. If possible, please do not wear a dress or skirt as they are cumbersome.
Q: Do I have to stop taking any medications before my procedure?
A: You may continue all of your medications unless you are taking a blood thinner. If you are on a blood thinner, such as Coumadin, Plavix, Heparin, Effient, or Lovenox, please let us know immediately by calling 404-843-3323 option 4. You will need permission from your prescribing physician prior to stopping any blood thinners. Also, please let us know if you are taking any antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory medications as some of these may also need to be withheld.
Q: How much is parking for the procedures?
A: Parking is a flat rate of $4.00. The first 30 minutes are free.
Q: What are the risks associated with the procedure?
A: As with any invasive procedure there are some associated risks and complications. Each injection poses its own risks depending on what structure is being injected, and what medications are being used. Please see our Treatments page to find the risks associated with your specific procedure.
Q: What is an Epidural Steroid Injection?
A: An epidural steroid injection is a procedure that helps to relieve back, neck, arm and/or leg pain that is caused by a bulging disc or irritated nerve root in the spine. It is an injection of steroids and local anesthetic into the epidural space of the spine to provide pain relief. Click here for more information: Epidural Steroid Injections
Q: What is a Facet Injection?
A: A facet injection is a procedure that helps to relieve back and neck pain due to degenerative and painful facet joints. It is an injection of steroids and local anesthetic into the facet joints to provide pain relief. Click here for more information: Facet Injections
Q: What is a Sacroiliac Joint Injection?
A: A sacroiliac joint injection is a procedure that helps to relieve back and buttock pain due to inflammation in the joint. It is an injection of steroids and local anesthetic into the sacroiliac joint to provide pain relief. Click here for more information: Sacroiliac Joint Injection
Q: What are Medial Branch Blocks?
A: A medial branch block is a procedure that helps to diagnose and relieve back and neck pain from degenerative and painful facet joints. The medial branch is a nerve that carries pain signals from the facet joint to the spinal cord and brain. Blocking this nerve with an anesthetic can stop the pain from the facet joints. Click here for more information: Medial Branch Blocks
Q: What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
A: Radiofrequency (RF) ablation is a procedure using electrical impulses to interrupt nerve signals for 6 to 18 months. The targeted nerves are those carrying signals from the painful facet joints in the back and neck. The procedure provides prolonged pain relief from degenerative and painful facet joints in the spine. Click here for more information: Radiofrequency Ablation/Neurolysis Procedures
Q: What is a Lumbar Discogram?
A: A lumbar discogram is a test procedure to help determine if a lumbar disc is your pain generator. The disc is pressurized, causing pain which may or may not be your usual pain. If your usual pain is reproduced, that disc may be your pain generator. Click here for more information: Lumbar Discogram
Q: What a Lumbar Sympathetic Block?
A: Lumbar sympathetic blocks are performed to relieve neuropathic leg pain caused by complex regional pain syndromes, which may develop after an injury to a joint or limb. An injection of local anesthetic over the lumbar sympathetic chain can relieve neuropathic pain in the leg. Click here for more information: Lumbar Sympathetic Block
Q: What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?
A: Spinal cord stimulation uses electrical impulses to relieve chronic pain in the back and legs. The stimulator applies electrical impulses to the spinal cord to block pain signals from reaching the brain. Click here for more information: Spinal Cord Stimulator
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For Workers’ Compensation Patients:
Q: Why do I have to wait to schedule my procedure, MRI study, or other appointments?
A: Everything has to go through you workers’ compensation insurance to get authorization from your adjuster and/or nurse case manager. For more information, please call (404)843-3323 and press option 5 to speak with a case manager.
Q: How long will the approval process take?
A: The process may take as long as a week or more to review depending on your case.
Q: Should I contact my Nurse Case Manager or Adjuster to get approval?
A: No, we will contact them for you and give them all the necessary information and paperwork for the approval process. Our office will let you know if you need to call them with any information.
Q: Will you provide transportation to my appointment?
A: If you need transportation, you will need to request this from your adjuster and/or nurse case manager.

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