Many doctors claim to be “spine specialists” or “spine surgeons”, but no one is more qualified to perform spinal surgery than a board-certified neurosurgeon.
If you have been recommended to undergo spinal surgery by an orthopedist or a non-board certified neurosurgeon, you should seriously consider getting another opinion with a board-certified neurosurgeon.
How Board-Certified Neurosurgeons are Different Than Spine Surgeons
Many doctors who describe themselves as “spine surgeons” have limited training. For example, most orthopedists who perform spinal surgery can have as little as 12 months of specialty training in spinal surgery. This means that they have had a very limited time to learn the complex and challenging physiological and pathophysiological systems involved in the nervous system, as well as a limited experience performing surgery.
On the other hand, a neurosurgeon has a minimum of 5 years experience in training in areas including neurology, neuropathology, neuroradiology and neurosurgery, which includes extensive training for years in matters pertaining to the spine. This is not to suggest that there aren’t highly talented orthopedic spinal surgeons, but that, in general, a neurosurgeon’s training is more extensive, more robust, more demanding, and more detailed than that of an orthopedic spine surgeon who has only one year of experience.
It is also important to seek the advice of a board-certified neurosurgeon. The American Board of Neurological Surgeons is a demanding organization that will only certify the most qualified and competent neurosurgeons. If your neurosurgeon is not certified by the ABNS it is important to ask “Why?” In some cases, a neurosurgeon might not have the educational experience or practical accomplishments to gain certification. In other cases, a neurosurgeon might not have been able to pass the rigorous examinations. In either case, it is always best to gain the opinion of a board-certified neurosurgeon before embarking on surgery.
Seek out the best treatment for your spine surgery by speaking with the expert, board-certified neurosurgeons at Hudson Valley Brain & Spine Surgery.