A spine surgeon specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing problems in the spine. Although their main area of expertise is carrying out complex spinal surgery, they are also fully up-to-date with the latest and most effective nonsurgical treatments. If you are searching for a spine surgeon, follow these tips to help you choose a surgeon that is right for your needs.
How Can A Spine Surgeon Help?
Spine surgeons treat a wide range of common and uncommon spinal conditions. They can help if you have a condition that is causing you chronic pain or disability, which is having an impact on your quality of life. Some of the conditions they treat include:
- Neck and back pain
- Trauma and spinal cord injuries
- Spinal fractures
- Scoliosis and spinal deformity
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Movement disorders
- Cervical spondylitic myelopathy
Choosing a Spine Surgeon
Decide on the Type of Spine Surgeon You Need
Spine surgery is typically carried out by either a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon. Although both types of surgeons are trained experts in treating a wide range of spine conditions and injuries, a neurosurgeon may be better suited to certain procedures such as tumor surgery, while an orthopedic surgeon may be a better choice for conditions such as deformities, fractures, and orthopedic trauma.
Some spine surgeons may also have fellowship training in a specialized area of spine surgery, such as advanced minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures or in trauma and fracture care. Therefore, it pays to look around to find a surgeon who best suits your requirements in order to get the most effective care.
Seek Recommendations from Reputable Sources
A good place to start in choosing the right spine surgeon is by talking to your primary care physician (PCP). In most cases, your PCP will be able to recommend a good spine surgeon in your area.In addition to talking to your PCP, it is worth asking friends, colleagues, and relatives whether they have any recommendations for excellent spine surgeons in your area. This allows you to gain a patient (rather than professional) perspective of a potential spine surgeon.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
If you are planning to use medical insurance for your treatment, you should contact your insurance provider as soon as possible to find out what is included in your plan and whether there are any restrictions you should be aware of. In some situations, spine surgery is classed as an elective procedure, therefore learning upfront what is covered under your policy can help to avoid any unexpected or hidden expenses further down the road.
Oftentimes, your insurance provider can help you with finding a suitable spine surgeon. Many offer a preapproved list of in-network medical specialists and surgeons based in your area, which can help you to pinpoint the right spine surgeon for your needs.
Check The Spine Surgeon’s Accreditations
Always use a board-certified spine surgeon for your care. This means that the surgeon has received the necessary education, qualifications, and training to perform intricate spine surgeries and has the skill and expertise to provide diagnoses, treatments, and prevention methods for a range of spine conditions.
Depending on your type of back problem and the treatment you need, you may also want to consider a spine surgeon who specializes in a particular area of neurosurgery, such as minimally invasive surgical techniques. This is to ensure they have the relevant expertise and up-to-date knowledge and training in the most effective treatments and therapies to manage your condition effectively.
Check Their Range of Treatments
Spine surgeons are highly skilled in carrying out complex surgeries, but it is important to remember that many symptoms experienced by patients can be treated successfully using nonsurgical treatments, such as medications or physical therapy. A large part of a spine surgeon’s job is to diagnose and evaluate a patient’s condition to determine the best course of treatment in order to manage a spinal condition successfully.
A good spine surgeon will thoroughly assess your condition taking into account different factors, such as your age, overall health, the type and severity of your condition, and your personal preferences. Surgery is usually only considered when all conservative treatments have been fully explored or no longer work successfully.
Does The Spine Surgeon Specialize in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Thanks to medical advancements, many spine surgeries can now be performed using minimally invasive techniques, particularly when treating conditions such as tumors, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal fractures, and scoliosis.
Minimally invasive spine surgery can provide many advantages over standard surgery for certain types of procedures, including less pain, fewer surgical risks, a shorter hospital stay, reduced downtime after surgery, and less scarring. This type of surgery utilizes specialized and extremely small surgical tools and requires much smaller incisions, which helps to minimize trauma to nearby tissues. Whereas, traditional ‘open’ spinal surgery requires larger incisions down the back and usually involves repositioning or removing muscles and soft tissues in order to perform surgery on the spine. This level of trauma can result in a much longer recovery and a higher risk of complications (such as infection) as the affected tissues heal. If you are interested in finding out whether you are a candidate for this type of surgery, choose a spine surgeon that specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery.
Personalized Care for Your Needs
Every patient is unique, with different needs and expectations. When choosing a spine surgeon, ensuring they provide individualized care that is customized to your condition and unique requirements is essential. The role of your spine surgeon is to educate you on the full range of treatment options for your condition to allow you to make an informed decision about your care. Before committing to spine surgery, you should be made fully aware of all the risks, benefits, and potential outcomes of treatment. The decision to proceed with surgery is your decision. Only you know how bad your pain is and the impact your condition is having on your day-to-day life.
Your spine surgeon should work with you to design a personalized treatment plan that focuses on your diagnosis and individual needs. At your consultation, make sure they are knowledgeable and responsive to your needs. If you are unhappy or unsure about their recommendations or you do not feel that they addressed your needs effectively, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.
Spine Surgeon Near Me in Lone Tree, Parker, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Castle Rock, Colorado
If you are looking for a high-quality spine surgeon, visit Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery. Our experienced neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons provide surgical and nonsurgical treatments for a wide range of spinal and intracranial disorders. We also specialize in minimally invasive spinal surgery to treat conditions including herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spinal fractures, scoliosis, and spondylolisthesis.