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Orthopedic / Neurosurgeon

Many patients ask the question: If I need to be evaluated for a spinal problem, or, if I need spinal surgery, should I see a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon?

It is important for patients to realize that both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons perform spine surgery. With the advent of new techniques for treating spine disease, the discipline of spine surgery has grown rapidly. No longer can the general orthopedic or general neurosurgeon handle the complete array of spine-related problems. Spine surgery techniques have become so rapidly evolving and complex that a new discipline "SPINE SURGERY" has been born in the medical community.

All orthopedic and Neuro-surgeons are also exposed to spine surgery during their four or five year training program. As in neurosurgery, some orthopedic surgeons who wish to specialize in spine surgery and gain further training may pursue a post-graduate (after residency) fellowship in spine surgery. Today there are a large number of both orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons who specialize and are trained in spine surgery and are referred as "SPINE SURGEONS".

Currently, a patient does not have to settle on a neurosurgeon who does "mostly brain surgery and a little bit of spine surgery" or an orthopedic surgeon who does mostly "joint surgery and a little bit of spine surgery." A patient today can seek consultation with either a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon appropriately trained in residency and, possibly, in a post-graduate fellowship in spine surgery who has devoted his or her practice to spinal disorders. In other words, they take care of spine problems day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year.

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