Top orthopedic surgeons are relatively easy to find, if you know where to look. There are more than 20,000 orthopedic surgeons active in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Of those, about 11 percent specialize in the spine, which means that if you find yourself considering surgery for chronic neck or back pain, you will have options when it’s time to choose someone to perform the procedure.
What differentiates top orthopedic surgeons from merely adequate surgeons? The measurable, easily researched qualities are experience, training, memberships in professional associations and board certifications. In theory, the longer someone has engaged in a profession, the more competent he or she should be as an orthopedic surgeon. However, nearly as important as longevity is the effort put forth toward continuing education. This is particularly true for those in the medical field, who must remain updated on the latest technological advances in their chosen field. Memberships in associations and board certifications indicate the surgeon’s standing within the industry.
What to look for
In addition to the “on paper” qualifications, it’s important to delve into other factors as you search for the right person to perform your operation. The more you know, the better decision you’ll make, which is why you should take these steps as you consider the options:
- Ask for a recommendation from your primary care physician
- Ask friends and family for recommendations
- Research surgeons online at the websites for the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
- Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions
- Don’t simply pick the first surgeon you interview; seek a second opinion
- Make sure you choose a surgeon you’re comfortable with, someone whose personality doesn’t clash with yours
Laser Spine Institute
Laser Spine Institute is staffed with some of the top orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons in the nation. Our surgeons are leaders in the field of minimally invasive spine procedures and have extensive experience in alleviating the symptoms of a variety of spinal conditions. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the qualifications of the surgeons on our staff and to receive a review of your MRI or CT scan.