Selecting A Spine Surgeon
When or if you start asking about the qualities of a good spine surgeon, perhaps you have reached the point where you are considering a surgery for yourself or a loved one. The general questions patients should ask of their spine surgeons are related to their particular skills in performing the procedure. Moreover, they should ask about where and how they completed their certification and training. You should feel a certain level of comfort with their ability to perform the procedure. Only then will you be able to relax and trust in the physician.
Our primary goal at the Spine Physicians Institute is to ensure that each patient get all the questions answered. Only then would they be able to make the most informed decisions related to their own or their 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 surgeon’s 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.