North Central Neurosurgery
100 Navarre Place
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone: 574-232-7227, 866-344-4448
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Below you will find a list of some common questions and answers. If you do not find the information you were looking for, please feel free to call us at 1-866-344-4448 and we will be happy to help you.
- Q: How should I prepare for my initial appointment, and how long will it take?
- A: Your first appointment is for consultation and examination, so you should wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to change into a gown and possibly remove your socks and shoes. You will be here between 45 minutes and 1 hour and 15 minutes, including registration time. Feel free to bring a list of questions. The more informed you are, the better you will feel.
- Q: What should I expect when I arrive for my first appointment?
- A: You can expect service with a smile. We will ask you to complete your registration packet, if we did not receive it prior to your visit. We will also copy your insurance cards for our records.
- Q: How can I determine if insurance will cover my care at North Central Neurosurgery?
- A: At North Central Neurosurgery, we are contracted to work with several insurance carriers. Each company maintains its own guidelines for procedures covered and the specific dollar amount per their policy. To receive the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, contact your insurance provider directly and request specific information regarding their coverage for your treatment. We will do everything we can to provide you and your insurance company with the necessary documentation to process your claim.
- Q: What hospitals or clinics are the doctors affiliated with?
- Memorial Hospital, South Bend
- St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, South Bend
- Memorial Spine and Neuroscience Center, South Bend
- Elkhart General Hospital, Elkhart
- Q: How do you determine which doctor I will see for evaluation and treatment?
- A: If you have not requested a particular physician, your appointment will be scheduled for our next available opening. In many cases, our patients are in pain or have a problem that is more urgent in nature, so we make every effort to see them as soon as possible.
- Q: Can I bring a family member or close friend with me for appointments?
- A: Certainly, but we suggest not bringing small children, since their presence in the exam room can be a distraction. If there are multiple family members who want to discuss your care with the doctor, arrangements can be made for a special "Family Conference" visit.
- Q: I'm frightened about really finding out what my diagnosis is. Can you help me deal with that?
- A: There are several good reasons why it is important to make a diagnosis, and for you to be aware of what is going on:
- Treating the problem requires knowing exactly what the problem is.
- Even though some of the conditions we encounter can be upsetting, trying to deal with the unknown is much more frightening. Fear of a scary diagnosis such as cancer or the need for surgery should not prevent you from seeking treatment. The majority of problems are benign and treatable with good success, and often without surgery. Once the trouble is identified, we do not have to worry about any of the other possibilities, and we can focus on the problem at hand.
- Finally, recovery from anything is not just a mechanical process (such as repairing a car); in medical or surgical matters, success depends a great deal on your participation in the treatment plan. Once you know what is going on, you will be better able to be a part of the therapy to help speed and improve the healing process.
- Q: My doctor has suggested I visit a physician at North Central Neurosurgery, but I would rather just wait a while and see how my condition progresses. Is that O.K.?
- A: If you are having enough symptoms for your doctor to recommend a consultation here, it is probably wiser not to try to "wait it out." At the time of your visit, you will be given alternatives, and you can then make an informed decision about what you want to do.
- Q: My family tends to worry so much about things - is it possible to keep my visits private until I am ready to discuss this matter with those closest to me?
- A: Yes, although open communication in a family is usually best.
- Q: What is the difference between physical therapy and exercise?
- A: Physical therapy is usually prescribed for a patient with specific signs and symptoms. Exercise therapy is prescribed to prevent certain symptoms. For example, if we see a patient with a pinched nerve in the neck, we will prescribe physical therapy, such as cervical traction, to help alleviate the symptoms of the pinched nerve. In another case, we might see a patient with degenerative disk disease (also known as arthritis) involving the lumbar spine, and recommend an exercise program. These exercises are meant to maintain motion and flexibility in the region of the low back to help prevent severe bouts of spasm, which can be quite debilitating.
- Q: I know everyone is supposed to exercise, but how does it really help with neurological disorders?
- A: Exercise builds endurance and compensates for weakness or deficiencies. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight - a very important factor in preventing or minimizing spinal degeneration. Postoperative exercise is critical in recovery from surgery.
- Q: If I begin treatment that includes medication - how do I know what effect that will have with the other prescriptions I'm currently taking?
- A: You will have already supplied us with a list of all the medications you are currently taking, so we will be aware of possible drug interactions.