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1. What do I need to bring to my pre-op appointment at Midwest Neurosurgeons?
All MRI, CT Scans, X-rays, X-ray reports, and discs or films that have been taken. Also, bring your insurance cards and medications. If this is your first visit, please arrive an hour early to allow for paperwork.

2. Where does Dr. Fonn do procedures?
Midwest Surgery Center, Midwest Neurosurgeons, and St. Francis Medical Center.

3. Where does Dr. Fonn do surgery?

Midwest Surgery Center and St. Francis Medical Center.

4. How much notice do we have to give to reschedule an appointment or procedure?
24 hours.

5. If less than 24 hours will we be charged?

Due to the limited availability of appointments, you could be charged $100 for missing your appointment without notice.

6. What is the difference between board eligible and board certified?

Eligible means they are able to test for certification; certified means they have completed the certification courses.

7. What is a D.O.? What is the difference between D.O. and M.D.?

D.O. stands for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. D.O.’s receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system and have been trained to perform osteopathic manipulations. They treat the “whole body” instead of specific symptoms, taking histories and focusing on lifestyle issues as well as an individual’s health problems, whereas an M.D. might treat a person’s symptoms before looking at other issues.

8. Why does Dr. Fonn use a Physician Assistant?

Physician's Assistants, or PA’s, are specially trained in health care and services as delegated by the physician. Lauren Himpleman assists Dr. Fonn in all aspects of your care from diagnosis to treatment and even assists in surgeries. This allows for efficient patient care at our facility.

9. Can a PA do the same things as the doctor?

No, our PA’s assists our patients as Dr. Fonn would, but Dr. Fonn makes all decisions and diagnoses.

10. Can a PA write scripts?

In Missouri, a PA cannot write scripts for narcotic pain medications.

11. Why do I have to fill out forms for each procedure?

This is documentation that you are aware of the procedure you are going to be having. These records are put into your medical chart for future reference. Also, this allows you to indicate if any changes have occurred in between procedures.

12. Can I change my appointments?

We understand that unplanned events can occur that would cause you to reschedule. We will try to be as accommodating as possible, but since we do see a high volume of patients we do ask that you try to keep your appointment. If this is not possible, please notify us as soon as possible so we may accommodate other patients.

13. Can I speak with the doctor?

If you have a medical question, one of our knowledgeable staff will assist you. If you have a question for Dr. Fonn he can be reached anytime by sending email to

14. Can I have a copy of my x-ray images?

Yes, we require a 48-hour notice to prepare the copies and they will be placed on a disc for your convenience.

15. If I have surgery, how long will I be off work?

That depends on each person’s job and lifting/ walking requirements. Typically at 4 weeks, you will be allowed light duty with 20-pound weight restrictions. Restrictions will be evaluated incrementally from there with Dr. Fonn.

16. When is surgery considered?

Not all patients are surgical candidates, but Dr. Fonn will let you know what type of procedure is appropriate to treat your symptoms.

17. What is a Myelogram?

All information about Myelograms and all other procedures performed at Midwest Surgery Center can be found on the procedures page.

18. Why do I need an MRI or CT before surgery?

This imaging will help to get a final analysis of the problem area.

19. Why do I need a pre-op appointment at Midwest Neurosurgeons?

A pre-op appointment is required at Midwest Neurosurgeons, to have any post-op scripts dispensed after surgery and to answer any questions or concerns prior to surgery.

20. Where will my preoperative appointments be at?

You will have a preoperative appointment at Midwest Neurosurgeons.

21. How long should I wear my brace?

Not all surgical procedures wear a brace. For procedures that require a brace, times vary based on the location of the body the surgery was done on. Thoracic and lumbar procedures require a brace for approximately 14 weeks. Cervical procedures typically require a brace for 4 weeks. However, all these times are approximate and will vary depending on each patient and how that individual’s body heals.

22. Do I wear a brace when I drive?


23. What is the purpose of a bone growth stimulator (BGS)?

It enhances the body’s natural bone healing processes, which helps ensure a successful fusion. It sends an electrical current to the bone, which encourages the bone to grow.

24. Do I wear the bone growth stimulator with the brace?


25. Does the hardware implanted in surgery have to stay in my back after bones are fused?

Yes. This hardware supports the affected area of your spine and will remain there permanently.

26. How long until I can drive after surgery?

Two to four weeks, depending on your body’s healing process.

27. How long is the recovery after surgery?

In most cases, patients will be up and walking within 24 hours of surgery. At 14 weeks the majority of the healing process has occurred, but your body will continue to heal for up to a year.

28. What medications can I take after surgery?

Medication depends on the individual and the surgery. This will be discussed prior to leaving the surgery center.

29. Can I get a copy of my medical records?

Yes, there is a charge if for personal use. Another doctor’s office may request the records at no charge.

30. Why is there a charge for disability forms?

There is a one time $25 charge for forms to be filled out and released due to the time it takes our office staff to research the information and submit it back to the requesting party.

31. How long does it take disability forms to be processed?

Once we receive a request it could take up to two weeks, due to the processes involved.

32. What are my diagnosis codes?

Assigned numerical codes to explain to other healthcare providers what you are being treated for.

33. Why does Midwest Surgery Center write the diagnosis code on off work slips and P/T scripts instead of the diagnosis?

The diagnosis codes are a universal way to communicate a diagnosis to other healthcare providers so there is no confusion.

34. Will I be given medicine after my surgery?

A prescription will be given to you after your surgery to be taken to your pharmacy to be filled. If you have a procedure done at the surgery center, the nurse will call it into your pharmacy if needed.

35. Can I get my test results over the phone?

The only results our medical assistants are allowed to give over the phone are lab results. All other results can be discussed with Dr. Fonn at your next appointment.

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