It’s important to know the difference between spine surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons. Each type of surgeon has special skills for different spine-related needs.

When people think about having surgery on their spine, they often wonder, “Should I go to a neurosurgeon or an orthopaedic spine surgeon?” Both types of surgeons can focus on specific areas, like working with kids, or specializing in certain parts of the spine or surgeries like those for bones or hands and wrists.

It’s important to know the difference between spine surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons, especially when dealing with spine and musculoskeletal problems. Though they share some common ground, each type of surgeon has special skills for different spine-related needs.

Orthopaedic Surgeons: Orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders. This broad field encompasses a wide range of conditions affecting bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles throughout the body. Orthopaedic surgeons undergo extensive training, typically completing a five-year residency program following medical school.

Roles and Expertise: Orthopaedic surgeons are trained to address various orthopaedic issues, including fractures, sports injuries, arthritis, and degenerative joint diseases. They perform surgeries such as joint replacements, arthroscopic procedures, and fracture repairs. Additionally, orthopaedic surgeons may specialize in specific areas such as hand surgery, foot and ankle surgery, or paediatric orthopaedics, catering to diverse patient needs.

Spine Surgeons: Spine surgeons are a subset of orthopaedic surgeons or neurosurgeons who specialize in treating conditions related to the spine. They receive additional training focused specifically on the complex anatomy and intricacies of spinal disorders. This specialized training equips them with the expertise to diagnose, manage, and surgically intervene in spinal conditions effectively.

Roles and Expertise: Spine surgeons primarily focus on treating spinal disorders, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spinal tumors, and spinal cord injuries. They utilize a variety of surgical techniques, ranging from minimally invasive procedures to complex spinal reconstructions. Spine surgeons work closely with patients to develop personalized treatment plans tailored to their specific condition and lifestyle.

Ultimately, both orthopaedic surgeons and neurosurgeons have the potential to develop into excellent spinal surgeons. However, unexpected injury to the neural structures during surgery invariably requires the management and expertise of a neurosurgeon. Therefore, access to a neurosurgeon is highly recommended for any patient undergoing complex or minimally invasive spinal surgery. Spine surgeons ensure precise diagnosis and effective treatment options, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes and enhanced quality of life.

Have you experienced painful symptoms in your back for a period of two weeks or more? Schedule an appointment with Spine specialist to find out how Dr. Vishal Bhasme can help alleviate symptoms such as pain or limitations on your daily lifestyle or activities.