Selecting A Spine Surgeon
You should, firstly, ask of their spine surgeon’s skillset and experience in performing the procedure. Moreover, you may also inquire where the surgeon completed his / her certifications and trainings. Only when you feel a certain level of comfort in the practitioner’s ability to perform the procedure, will you be able to relax and trust the doctor.
Our first goal at the Spine Physicians Institute is to ensure that you get all your questions answered, enabling you to make the most informed decisions for your or your loved one’s health.
General questions to ask include;
When considering surgery, every patient should keep in mind that spine surgery is almost always an elective procedure. There are very few times when the spine surgery is actually essential. You are the only one who knows how bad your pain is. Therefore, the decision to proceed with surgery is absolutely your decision. No one can push you into it.
The surgeons’ role is to educate you and assist with the decision-making process. They will provide you with information about your full range of options. They will describe what is technically possible, including the difficulty and risk of the procedure, as well as potential benefits. Therefore, it is important that you select a surgeon who is helpful in providing you the information you need.
- Patients often ask what kind of surgeon should do their spine surgery, i.e. a Neurosurgeon or an Orthopedic Surgeon. While each specialty has a different focus in training, both are equally qualified to do the majority of spine surgery.
- In addition to the usual surgical residency requirements, both neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery specialties offer fellowship programs in spine that include an additional year of training specific to spine surgery. At the very least, your surgeon should be board certified or board eligible in orthopedic or neurological surgery.
- Another very important factor is the amount of the surgeon’s practice devoted to spine surgery. A physician who focuses on spinal surgery is going to be far more adept and current in newer surgical techniques then one who performs spine surgery only occasionally. For example, the North American Spine Society requires that at least 50% of a physician’s practice be devoted to spine treatment as inclusion criteria for the society, which is probably a pretty good benchmark.
For more questions, contact our office located in Dallas.