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What to Think About When Choosing a Spine Surgeon

dr looking at spineMany people become fearful when they consider having spine surgery. That’s understandable. It’s also understandable that they want a spine surgeon who is very highly skilled. But how do you make an assessment like this? What should you look for in choosing a spine surgeon?

Board Certified and Fellowship Trained

The first thing to consider is the surgeon’s level of training. Is he/she Board Certified? Also, was a fellowship completed? This fellowship training means that the surgeon spent at least a year under the guidance of senior spine experts after their residency training was completed.

There’s No Substitute for Experience

Another factor to consider is experience. How many surgeries like the one you need has the surgeon completed successfully? You should feel comfortable asking this question because the answer will go a long way in easing your mind about the choice you are making. This may also include inquiring about the surgeon’s areas of specialty.

The way your questions are answered should also help guide your decision. A confident, well-regarded spine surgeon will want you to be involved in your own care, which includes making sure that you feel free to ask all the questions you have on your mind.

Completely Focused

Whenever possible, it’s probably a good idea to see a spine surgeon whose practice is completely devoted to spine care. This makes it more likely that he/she is right up to date with the latest advancements in diagnostics and techniques.

Where honesty is the best policy.

Most people who go to see a spine surgeon end up not having surgery. It turns out that some combination of physical therapy, exercise and lifestyle changes allows them to return to normal daily activities. You want a spine surgeon who, after completing a thorough evaluation, seeks to exhaust all the alternatives to surgery first.


When you’re experiencing back or neck pain, sometimes it feels like you just can’t wait to see an expert who can provide you with some kind of relief. But finding the right expert will often mean having that relief become lasting or not. Finding a good spine surgeon can make a critical difference.

Here, at Saratoga Spine, we are happy to provide a 2nd opinion.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery