Selecting a Spine Surgeon
If you are asking about the qualities in a spine surgeon that you should be looking for, then your pain has probably reached the point where you are considering surgery. The general questions patients should ask of their spine surgeons are related to their particular skills in performing the procedure suggested, their training, and your level of comfort with their ability to perform the procedure. Our primary goal at the Spine Physicians Institute at any of our office locations conveniently located to the Dallas, Irving, Red Oak, Plano, Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville and Duncanville areas is to ensure that each of our patient’s get all of the questions answered so that they can make the most informed decisions possible as they relate to their health.
General questions to ask include:
When considering surgery, every patient should keep in mind that spine surgery is almost always an elective procedure, and there are very few times that spine surgery is absolutely essential. You are the only one who knows how bad your pain is, and the decision to proceed with surgery is absolutely your decision.
The surgeon’s role is to educate you and assist with the decision-making process – providing you with information about your full range of options, and describing what is technically possible, the difficulty and risk of the procedure and potential benefits. Therefore, it’s 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: a neurosurgeon or 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.
As always if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to contact any of our office locations conveniently located to the Dallas, Irving, Red Oak, Plano, Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville and Duncanville areas and one of our friendly staff members will be glad to get you scheduled to meet with one of our expert trained spine surgeons.