Initial Care

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Nearly 80% of our spine patients are able to recover with nonsurgical treatment. With Priority Consult®, our surgeons provide a rapid initial review of your medical condition without an appointment.

brochure pdfHow Priority Consult® works

Once you contact us about your spine problem, our Initial Care staff will obtain a detailed medical history and ask for any recent x-rays, MRI, or other scans of your spine. Depending on where the testing was done, we may be able to access it digitally, or it may need to be delivered to us. Once we have all of your diagnostic test results, the surgeon will review your medical information, and we will call you with a recommendation.

The surgeon may recommend an immediate appointment. However, many of our patients benefit from additional treatment and testing prior to a surgeon appointment. The surgeon may recommend that you see one of our rehabilitation physicians, receive physical therapy from one of our network therapists, or schedule additional testing such as an MRI.

Personalized coordination of your care.

If the neurosurgeon recommends treatment prior to an appointment, a care coordinator will call you to help coordinate your treatment and answer any questions you may have. We will maintain communication with you and your referring physician throughout your care experience to ensure your total satisfaction with Mayfield.

Frequently Asked Questions

Priority Consult - Intake

Can the doctor evaluate my condition by reviewing my medical information and without seeing me in the office?

Yes. The surgeon evaluates your condition based on your medical history, scans and test results. He may believe you would benefit from therapy or additional diagnostics before a surgical consultation. If so, the surgeon will refer you to the appropriate therapist or schedule a test. If he believes you would benefit from a physicians visit now, the surgeon will recommend an appointment.

If I need an appointment with the surgeon, will I see the doctor to whom I was referred?


How long does it take for the physician to review my medical history and films. Will I get a telephone call with the results? How long before I hear something back about my status?

In most cases, the surgeon reviews your information within four to five business days of receiving your complete information (medical history, films). A Care Coordination nurse or an Intake Specialist will call you within 24-48 hours of the surgeon’s review to advise you of his recommendation.

How quickly can I get an appointment after the review?

The surgeon will recommend when your appointment should be scheduled. If you have an urgent medical condition, you will be given an expedited appointment.

Will I obtain my imaging films from the imaging center or will Mayfield Clinic?

Mayfield Clinic will gather film directly from affiliates, such as the Mayfield Imaging Center. Otherwise, the patient is responsible obtaining films.

Can I just bring my films in when I come in for my appointment?

Your surgeon will review your medical information and films in the hope that you can begin treatment before seeing the surgeon. His goal is to begin your care as soon as possible, and a timely review of your information will result in getting you the most appropriate care in the quickest way possible.

Will the surgeon address my work (medication) issues?

You will need to contact your referring doctor or physician of record regarding your work and medication issues if you have not yet seen the neurosurgeon. If the surgeon recommends medications during his review, this recommendation will be sent to your primary care physician for his or her consideration.

Priority Consult - Disposition

Is it possible I might see a specialist other than a surgeon, or have physical therapy?

Yes, if the surgeon reviewed your information and determined that your pain might be resolved without surgery. Many patients with similar conditions have responded favorably to aggressive nonsurgical treatment, and have avoided surgery altogether.

What is a PMR doctor?

A Physiatrist, also called a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR) physician is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all types of physical disabilities. At the Mayfield Clinic, the Physiatrists provide nonsurgical spine care, including diagnosing disorders and coordinating rehabilitation. They work with a variety of health care providers to help the patient achieve the maximum functional capacity and a high quality of life.

How will the surgeon tell me what's wrong with me? (If appointment)

The surgeon communicates to us his recommendation for next steps in your care, but will discuss the specifics of your condition at the time you are seen for an appointment. He will answer any specific questions you have at that time. If you have a clinical question that cannot wait until your appointment, you may contact our office at 513-221-1100 and ask to speak with one of our Nurse Care Coordinators.

What will happen with my films?

Your films will be available for you to return to the hospital or facility when your course of care at Mayfield Clinic has been completed.

Will I need surgery?

Not necessarily. About 80% of our patients significantly improve with nonsurgical treatment.

What is an EMG and why does the surgeon recommend one? Will it hurt? Is there any special preparation?

An Electromyography (EMG) is a test to determine if a person’s muscle weakness is related to nerve damage or some other muscle condition. The surgeon wants to determine if your symptoms are a result of peripheral nerve damage.

During an EMG, thin needles will be inserted into the muscles being tested. The needles are thinner than those used to draw blood, but you may feel mild discomfort.

If you are having an Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV), which is often done along with an EMG, then small pads are taped to your skin along the path of the nerve. These pads deliver light electric "shocks" that are too mild to be harmful.

You can eat normally the day of the test. Continue taking your prescribed medications unless otherwise instructed. There is no other special preparation for the test.

What is an ESI and why does the surgeon recommend one? Where are ESIs done? Will I meet with the doctor before scheduling the ESI?

Epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a nonsurgical treatment that can help relieve arm, neck, low back and leg pain caused by irritated nerves in your spine. A long-lasting steroid, such as cortisone, and an anesthetic numbing agent are injected into the epidural space of your spine. It is used to relieve pain symptoms caused by inflammation and pressure on the spinal nerves.

The surgeon may order a consult with a Mayfield PMR physician to discuss whether ESI may be useful in treating an inflammatory condition to reduce your pain enough to allow you to begin your rehabilitation program.

The procedure is done at a hospital or outpatient center. We will schedule a consult with a Mayfield PMR physician to discuss whether an ESI is right for you, if your surgeon thinks it appropriate.

Appointment Scheduling

 Will my insurance cover my visit?

You will need to contact your insurance company to determine the level of benefits covered by your particular policy.

What does it mean to be out of network?

This means that Mayfield is not an in-network provider for your insurance and benefits will be paid at a substantially reduced rate. You will need to contact your insurance company to determine your out-of-network benefits.

Can't I get a sooner appointment?

We will call you if an earlier appointment becomes available. However, if you notice any change in your current symptoms, please let us know right away. We will have you speak with a nurse to determine if a sooner appointment is needed.

Where is Mayfield located?

Mayfield has offices throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

If you still have questions, please email us.