Many years ago, neurosurgeons were primarily responsible for spine surgery, but in the past 20 to 25 years spine surgery has evolved so that both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine surgery, and for most of the typical spine operations both types of surgeons are equally well qualified.
The surgeons may subspecialize, such as in the case of surgeons who specialize in pediatrics, cervical spine, lumbar spine, hand and wrist surgery, plastic surgery, or in other areas or procedures.
Neurosurgeons may be Medical Doctors or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, and complete a five to six year residency focused on the surgical treatment of neurological conditions. Neurosurgeons are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders involving:
Orthopedic surgeons may be Medical Doctors (MD) or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) who have completed a five-year surgical residency focused on the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Orthopedists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of almost all bone and joint disorders.
Both orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons may extend their training after residency by completing a spine fellowship program. These fellowships provide additional, specialized training for orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons that have successfully completed their residency training and earned their board certification or eligibility in their specialty.
Completing a spine fellowship is a marker of a surgeon who has chosen to specialize in spine surgery and is willing to make the extra investment in training to become more skilled.
Author: ERIC BECK M.D.
About: Dr. Eric R. Beck MD is the best Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Doctor in Huntsville, Alabama.