What kind of doctor performs back surgery?

If you are suffering from chronic back pain, your first visit should be to your primary physician. He or she will help diagnose the cause of your pain and lead you in the right direction toward finding relief. If it’s determined that you require surgery to find relief, your general practitioner should also be able to suggest the most appropriate type of surgeon to schedule an appointment with.

There are two types of surgeons who perform back surgery: neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons. Let’s explore the differences between these two specialists.

  • Orthopedic spine surgeon. This type of surgeon specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of bone and joint disorders, including spinal conditions, joint replacement, sports injuries and arthritis. An orthopedic spine surgeon can focus on exclusively spine surgery or choose to practice in other areas that relate to the bones and joints in addition to the spine.
  • Neurosurgeon. Neurosurgeons specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders that relate to the central nervous system, including the spinal cord and column and the brain. Neurosurgeons can choose to practice only brain surgery or spine surgery or can split their practice among the two.

One of the most important aspect to choosing a surgeon to perform back surgery is not always the type of surgeon but the specialty the surgeon practices is in. For example, you wouldn’t want to undergo back surgery by a neurosurgeon that typically only performs brain surgery. Doing your research before meeting with a surgeon and asking the appropriate questions will ensure you select the best surgeon to perform your back surgery.

If you’ve exhausted conservative treatment and have been recommended for neck or back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the minimally invasive spine surgeries performed by our neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you have regarding our outpatient procedures and the dedicated surgeons who perform them.

When you contact us, be sure to request a free MRI review,* which can help determine if you are a candidate for the outpatient procedures we offer to treat chronic back pain.