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The Dialogue Support - Guiding Informed Decisions on Spine Surgery

Information for patients and other non-professional visitors, using the ‘The Dialogue Support’

About the Dialogue Support Program

"The Dialogue Support" program has been meticulously crafted to assist in discussions and decisions surrounding surgeries for common ailments of the low back and neck. As of October 2020, insights from nearly 140,000 Swedish patients – increasing by around 10,000 annually – shape this tool. These patients, listed in the Swedish National Quality Register (Swespine), have shared their experiences before and one year post-operation, helping determine the surgery’s effectiveness in alleviating pain and improving function.

Understanding Individual Differences

Each patient is unique. Age, height, weight, mental and social status, physical capability, and habits like smoking all play a role. The variety in pain intensity, duration, and additional health conditions mean that every surgical outcome is influenced by numerous individual factors. This variance makes it challenging for a surgeon to predict the operation’s exact benefit to you. It’s crucial to remember that all surgeries come with inherent risks.

Thankfully, Swespine captures data on these varied individual aspects and more. Using statistical analyses, it’s now possible to gauge the impact of individual factors on post-surgical outcomes. This vital information forms the foundation of the Dialogue Support program you're about to explore.

Navigating the Dialogue Support Interface

Before delving deeper, it's paramount to note that the outcomes depicted in the Dialogue Support tool are predictions grounded in statistical data, not guarantees. Always consult with your spine surgeon before making any decisions.

Here’s how to proceed:

  1. **Attention**: Clicking the link opens a new window.
  2. Click the blue icon to view professional information, including a PowerPoint presentation (click the two red arrow heads at the bottom right). For this text, select “Patient information including a video”.
  3. Press the square icon at the bottom left to open the support.
  4. Accurately input all your details in the left column, starting with “Basic information”. Fill in “Diagnosis group” with options such as Disc herniation, Spinal stenosis, Degenerative disc disease, or Rhizopathy neck.
  5. Proceed to fill in all relevant information.
  6. Next, select “Back-specific information” at the page's top and complete the data on the left side.
  7. With that done, shift your focus to the screen's right to interpret your predicted outcome using the pie diagram.

The Dialogue Support offers a glimpse of potential surgical results, but remember, these are PREDICTIONS, PROBABILITIES, and NOT CERTAINTIES. Your physician might offer additional insights specific to your situation.

It's essential to note that these outcomes derive from Swedish patient analyses. Conditions in your country might differ. However, the data encompasses thousands of patient experiences, making it a valuable consideration. For detailed figures, click the small circular grey icon at the screen’s bottom right.

Lastly, always discuss your findings with your physician to ensure clarity.


October 2020
**EUROSPINE steering board**: Everard Munting and Tim Pigott
**Swespine steering group/Swespine society of spinal surgeons**: Peter Fritzell and Olle Hägg





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