Implementing the Spinal Decay Form

Implementing the Spinal Decay Insert

completed-spinal-decay-forrm-right.jpgEnter the patient's name and report date at the top. Add your practice details in the space provided with a high quality rubber stamp or running your forms through your office printer after receiving your order from Patient Media.

Idea #1

Most practices complete this form before the report, reviewing the key findings during the actual report with the patient.

1. Place check marks in front of the descriptive phrases along the top that describe the patient's radiographic findings.

2. Circle the views that come closest to representing the patient's condition in the three areas. (If you didn't take particular sectionals, indicate along the left-hand border.)

3. With each circle, draw an arrow to the right as an indication that the spinal decay process gets progressively worse if neglected.

4. Make appropriate annotations along the bottom on the "Comments" line such as "Cervical advanced Phase 1" or "Lumbar early Phase 2," etc.

Idea #2

Increase the impact of your findings by directly involving them in the "phase placement" process, completing the form in front of the patient as you have them compare their actual X-rays with the examples printed here.

Before turning on the view box, provide some orientation, indicating key landmarks (skull, jaw, shoulder, etc.) on the "Textbook Normal" view.

"This is what the side view of a normal neck should look like. This is the shoulder, this is your jaw and this is the back of your skull. The white areas are individual spinal bones and the dark spaces between them are the discs. Notice the equal disk spacing the gentle, forward curve."

(Alternatively, refer to our coordinating Spinal Decay wall chart, Near Normal poster or an actual "normal" X-ray you’ve acquired over the years can do this.)

Turn on the view box, revealing the patient's X-rays. Repeat the orientation, but this time with their views. Refer back to the Spinal Decay wall chart or Spinal Decay Form asking,

"When you compare the side view of your neck, with the four examples printed here, which one comes closest to matching yours?"

Then wait for the patient to respond. Either they will have an idea, or they won't. If they identify the proper phase, agree and circle it on their form. (If they over or under diagnose their phase, gently coach them,

"That's what I thought at first, but then I noticed ____ and ____ so my conclusion was that we were looking at an early/late/mid Phase __.")

If the patient seems reluctant to offer their guess, do some coaching, drawing them out. The objective is for them to say "Phase __," even if they feel unsure or reluctant. Even if they misjudge their phase, there is great benefit for it to come from the patient rather than you.

Repeat with the other views, add arrows and annotations as indicated above.

Purchase the Spinal Decay Form in pads of 50, indicating right- or left-facing to match your X-ray technique.