Feb 10, 2015

In the past, neurosurgeons typically performed decompression surgery on the spine that involved maneuvering the nerves and spinal cord, while orthopaedic surgeons performed fusion surgery and scoliosis reconstructions.

As the specialty of spinal surgery evolved and became more complex with the introduction of new technologies and devices such as rods, screws and artificial disc, both disciplines (orthopedic and neurosurgery) introduced fellowship training after residency.

Neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery are different operations, and each requires specialized training regarding the treatment of spinal disorders and spinal surgery.

So after completing their residency, neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons who hope to practice spinal surgery complete fellowships.

It is not important whether one is an orthopaedic or neurosurgeon as long as he or she has completed specialized training after residency.

If the treating surgeon is a SPINAL SURGEON, you can be confident you are in good hands.

If you need to find a spinal surgeon, here are some questions to ask:

  • Are you a board certified orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon?
  • Are you fellowship trained in spinal surgery?
  • Is your practice dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of spinal disorders?
  • Do you perform at least 150 surgeries a year?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, you may want to keep looking.