Kurt J. Duncan, MD

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I most often surgically treat conditions of the lumbar and cervical spine. Common procedures include: lumbar microdiscectomy for disc herniation, lumbar decompression (laminectomy) for spinal stenosis, lumbar or cervical spine fusion procedures, cervical disc replacement, and posterior cervical foraminotomy.

I do not perform laser spine surgery.

If you are a new patient, please arrive to your appointment early in order to complete the registration process. Some of the “paperwork” can be filled out in advance online. Please bring the following:

  • Driver’s License or State ID
  • Referral (if required by your insurance carrier)
  • Insurance information
  • Copies of operation records, medical records, x-rays, MRIs and CT scans from prior doctor visits
  • List of current medications and any known allergies

It depends, as each patient’s situation is unique. In most cases, by the time patients are coming to see me they have already had some form of imaging of their spine. If you have not had any imaging of your spine I will make a determination during your appointment what imaging, if any, is necessary.

Yes, absolutely. The more information we have regarding your situation and past history, the better equipped we are to provide the highest level of care. Bringing any previous imaging studies or test results regarding your diagnosis is recommended. In some cases we are able to obtain imaging electronically from local imaging centers, but it is best if you obtain the actual images on a CD directly from them and bring it to your appointment. If you are unable to get this information, don’t worry; we will still take great care of you.

You can use the General Contact Form on the Contact & Locations page of this website to get in touch with Dr. Duncan’s care team regarding second opinions. Dr. Duncan cannot give medical advice to a patient that he has not had the opportunity to personally evaluate, but if you send your medical records to us ahead of time it will allow him to review your history prior to your appointment.

Some patients get immediate relief from a cortisone injection. For others, it may take up to 2 weeks for the injection to take effect. Most people notice relief within 2 to 3 days. The duration of a cortisone injection can vary greatly. Some will last as long as a year, whereas others may last only a few days. It is also important to know that occasionally pain can get worse following a cortisone injection before it gets better. In the meantime, over the counter pain medications and ice are recommended.

In most cases, unless you recently had a surgery or an acute injury or fracture, Dr. Duncan will not prescribe narcotic pain medications. Prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications, Tylenol, and occasionally muscle relaxants may be prescribed to help control pain in cases when no surgery is indicated.

Before your Appointment

In your initial appointment we will discuss the history of your current spine problem. This includes what may have caused it, how long it has been present, what the aggravating and alleviating factors are, what treatments you’ve tried and which ones have been beneficial or not. I will perform a physical examination and review any imaging studies that have been done. A decision about surgery is rarely made during the initial visit. This visit is used for fact-gathering, determining what other tests may be helpful, and pursuing conservative treatment options that have not been utilized.

Yes, absolutely. Feel free to have family members or friends join you in your consultation. Many patients find it is helpful to have support in the room or even just for the extra set of ears to remember the details of the visit.

If you have records from another physician, provider, imaging center or hospital you should bring them with you to your appointment. If you do not have a copy, please contact the physician, provider, imaging center or hospital prior to your appointment with Dr. Duncan to let them know we will be requesting them. You may be required to fill out a Release of Information form at the other office before they release the records. In order to ensure that Dr. Duncan has your records ahead of your appointment time the best course of action is to obtain hard-copies of any medical records and imaging reports yourself and fax or mail them in advance of your appointment.

Medical records can be faxed to: 763-302-2738

Medical records can be mailed to any of Dr. Duncan’s clinic locations.

After your Appointment

After your appointment, you can expect prompt and accessible follow-up. If you have had surgery, you care continues long after surgery as we want to be a part of your complete healing process. If you ever have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

When Dr. Duncan orders a test or imaging study, he will let you know if you should expect to receive the results via phone or to follow-up in person to review the results in clinic. In some instances, the imaging study or test is ordered at a 3rd party location and not a TCO facility. If you had your imaging or test done at another location than TCO please let Dr. Duncan’s care team know that it was completed so that we can obtain those records.

If you have questions after your appointment, please feel free to contact Dr. Duncan’s care team. You can call our clinic directly, or contact us using the General Contact Form on the Contact & Locations page of this website.

The amount of time will vary depending on each unique patient, and each unique procedure. We will have a discussion about your specific in your pre-operative visit and further determination will be made during post-operative follow-up visits. A general outline for return to work can be found at this link. The goal is to get you back to your normal activities as fast and safely as possible.

Each individual will experience different pain levels after surgery and some surgeries may be more painful than others.  To get an idea of the expectations for your individual case, please discuss with Dr. Duncan at your appointment.

Please note that we strive to get our patients off narcotic pain medication as soon as possible. It can be needed shortly after surgery, but we do not advocate long-term use of pain medication. We take pain medication very seriously and make sure it is necessary before signing a prescription for any patient.

Please follow this link to patient education.