Which orthopedic doctors are best able to help you?

Orthopedic doctors specialize in orthopedic medicine, which is the branch that studies and treats disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The search for an orthopedic doctor can be especially stressful if you have been dealing with a spine condition such as arthritis or a herniated disc for months or even years without finding the relief you need to return to normal activity.

Finding the right orthopedic doctor for your needs may require some research or even visiting offices, but it should result in someone who can offer the best chance of getting you back to the people and hobbies you love.


One thing to keep in mind is that orthopedic doctors can practice a wide range of subspecialties. In fact, many orthopedic specialists undergo years of training to gain expertise in one region of the body. Once you’ve discussed your symptoms with a primary care physician, your physician may refer you to an orthopedic center for further evaluation or more advanced treatment.

It’s important to ask your physician — or even do some research yourself — to see if the recommended orthopedic doctors are specialists in the part of the body affecting you. While all orthopedic doctors study the workings of the musculoskeletal system, there is a wide range of subspecialties, including:

  • Musculoskeletal oncology
  • Sports medicine
  • Pediatric orthopedics
  • Hands
  • Shoulders
  • Elbows
  • Joint reconstruction
  • Feet and ankles
  • Spine

Not only is it important for an orthopedic doctor to be a spine specialist if you are suffering from a spine problem, you can also see if they have experience treating your particular condition. Orthopedic doctors with the most depth of experience treating a certain condition, such as a herniated disc, will know the full range of treatment methods and when to start considering surgery.

Treatment options

Many patients with spine conditions are able to find meaningful treatment from conservative options as prescribed by either their primary care physician or an orthopedic doctor. Surgery is usually considered when a full course of treatments including physical therapy, lifestyle changes and epidural steroid injections do not bring hoped-for pain relief and a return to an active lifestyle.

If you are considering surgery for neck or back pain but are concerned about the risks and difficulties associated with traditional spine surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. Our outpatient procedures offer a shorter recovery time with less scarring^ than traditional open back surgery because our surgeons, including neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons, use state-of-the-art technology to access the spine using a smaller muscle-sparing incision.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.