Alex Simotas, MD

Hospital for Special Surgery
Board Certified Physiatrist
Specializing In Spine & Sports Medicine

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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is a Physiatrist?

Answer: A physiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in non-operative treatment of muscular skeletal disorders of the spine, joints and sports injuries.

Question: Does Dr. Simotas Perform surgery?

Answer: No, Dr. Simotas does not perform any orthopedic surgical procedures. He performs many minor procedures frequently used in orthopedics such as radiographically guided epidural, facet joint injection and radio frequency ablation.

Question: How would Dr. Simotas diagnosis my condition? how would he treat My condition?

Answer: Dr. Simotas can diagnosis your condition by reviewing your medical history, physical examination, and if necessary order any new radiology exams, diagnostic and/or blood tests. Treatment options for your condition could be specific or a combination of home exercises, a course of prescribed medication, physical therapy, EMG/NCS test, injections and other minor procedures.

Question: Why should I have x-rays before my initial visit with Dr. Simotas instead of him examining me first?

Answer: The office staff is trained to ask specific questions regarding your condition which would indicate if you should have x-rays done prior to your visit or not. Having x-rays prior to the visit helps streamline your wait time and avoid interruptions during your actual visit with Dr. Simotas. Although, you as the patient ultimately have the choice whether to have x-rays prior to your visit.

Question: Can I have an x-ray in your office?

Answer: There is a radiology department on the second floor of our building which is part of Hospital for Special Surgery.

Question: Why should I have an x-ray if I already had an MRI?

Answer: X-rays and MRI’s are used separately to rule out and/or help diagnosis specific conditions.

Question: Should I have an MRI done prior to my initial visit?

Answer: It is not advised to have an MRI prior to your visit. Dr. Simotas recommends that you wait for the day of your appointment to see if an MRI is necessary, and that the right study type is ordered.

Question: Why do I have to give my detailed medical information and insurance information before scheduling an initial office visit with Dr. Simotas?

Answer: The office staff is trained to ask specific questions regarding the nature of your problem. They will ask what radiology, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures you have had and advise what is important to bring with you to your initial visit. We want to ensure that you have the most efficient consultation so Dr. Simotas is best equipped to diagnose and recommend a course of treatment for you.

Question: Do patient appointments run on time?

Answer: Yes, Dr. Simotas tries to adhere to his schedule and see patients at their scheduled times. Please note that delays can occur due to medical complications and/or emergencies. If the staff knows in advance there is a significant delay, they will attempt to notify you so you can make necessary adjustments.

Question: How long should I allow for my first visit?

Answer: From time of checking-in, completing necessary paperwork, visiting with the doctor and checking out with the office staff, your appointment is usually about one and a half to two hours. If Dr. Simotas wants to order any additional x-rays your appointment could take an additional hour.

Question: Can I Fill out and mail forms needed prior to my appointment?

Answer: Visit the Forms page on our website where you can download and print most of the paperwork needed for your visit.

Question: Can you call my doctor’s office for notes regarding my condition?

Answer: As long as you supply your doctor with a HIPAA release form and you give us your doctor’s complete name and office number, we can then attempt to contact your doctor directly for any necessary medical records that Dr. Simotas would want to review. However, we would need at-least 24-48 hours notice prior to your appointment for this request.