Jefferson University Hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

At Jefferson Rehabilitation, our goal is to minimize pain, promote wellness and regain function. This will assist you in returning to work, recreation and life activities.

To maximize your outcomes in therapy, we request that you be an active participant in your recovery process. Our therapists will work with you to design an individualized program, but we encourage you to ask questions and follow through with your program at home.

In order to make your experience with us most beneficial, here are some commonly asked questions and some helpful reminders:

What should I do when I come for my next follow-up appointment?

When you arrive for each follow-up appointment please check in with the front desk, then proceed back to the outpatient clinic waiting area. Our staff will greet you and let your therapist know that you have arrived.

What should I wear?

We recommend comfortable clothing. Make sure that the body region that is being treated is easily accessible. Sneakers are recommended and open-toed shoes/sandals are discouraged.

Who will be my therapist?

Our therapists work as a team and will follow the plan that is initially established by the therapist who completed your evaluation. If changes to the plan are required, we again will come together as a team to ensure that you receive the best care possible. If you have any specific needs or requests, we will make every attempt to accommodate them.

How long will my sessions last?

The length of your treatment depends upon your diagnosis and your availability, but typical treatment sessions last from 30 to 60 minutes.

How long will I be coming to therapy?

This will depend upon your condition and the results of the initial evaluation. Re-evaluations are completed each month. You and the therapist will discuss the need for continued therapy or discharge at that time.

What happens if I am late or if I miss an appointment?

In order to maximize your benefit from therapy, it is important that you arrive on time for all of your scheduled appointments. If you arrive late, we will make every effort to see you. However, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment if your lateness impacts another patient's care. If you miss two consecutive appointments without contacting us, your remaining appointments may be canceled.

What is your level of pain before & after each therapy session?

Your therapist will ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 0 to 10. This scale is a useful tool which allows the therapist to monitor your response to treatment.

Has anything changed in your medical status, such as medications, pregnancy, hospitalizations, falls, etc.?

It is very important that you keep your therapist informed of anything that might affect your therapy or the therapist's choice of activities.

When is your next doctor's appointment?

Please let your therapist know of your next doctor's appointment so that we may send a progress report. We like to keep the doctor informed of your progress in therapy.

Is your script & referral valid?

Please ask your therapist when your prescription and, if applicable, your referral expire. Scripts are often valid for 30 days unless otherwise specified. It is important that these items are up-to-date for continued therapy services.

What is the difference between spine surgeries performed by an orthopedic specialist versus a neurosurgeon?

Neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons perform many of the same procedures and undergo some of the same training. However, when it comes to the spine, neurosurgeons have more extensive — and more focused — training than orthopedic surgeons receive. Because of this additional training, neurosurgeons are able to perform any type of procedure on the spine. By contrast, orthopedic surgeons do not operate on or inside the nerves of the spinal cord.

I'm not sure if I really need surgery. Will your physicians be able to help with other options?

Although our physicians are neurosurgeons, our focus is always on identifying the best possible treatment for each patient. This conservative approach means that most of our patients do not end up needing surgery at all. We routinely collaborate with our peers in other specialties throughout Jefferson and can facilitate referrals as necessary. By choosing our Spine Program, you or your loved one benefit from a single point of contact that can help you tap into a full continuum of care and capabilities.

Although I have persistent back, neck or leg pain, I still don't have a clear-cut "diagnosis." Can you help me?

Chronic pain has a negative impact on quality of life. When the source of the pain — and a resolution — cannot be identified, it is frustrating for those who suffer. We encourage you to reach out to the Jefferson Spine Program for a consultation so we can determine how we may be able to help you.

I've already visited a physician at another healthcare facility, but I'm not sure about his or her recommendation. Can the Jefferson Spine Program provide a second opinion?

Absolutely. Our Program is routinely asked to provide a second — or even third or fourth — opinion; we welcome the opportunity and appreciate the trust that our community has placed in us.

What other resources are available through Jefferson Hospital?

As a major academic medical center, Jefferson offers patients a full complement of services and expertise. The physicians of the Spine Program frequently work with traumatologists, intensivists, physiatrists, orthopedists and neurologists, as well as specialists in pain management to help our patients receive the best possible treatment.