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choosing a doctor ( Surgeon )

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been told that I am a candidate for a diskectomy, laminotomy and a foraminotomy to correct a herniated L4-5 that is causing painful sciatica. In general, is it better to have a neurosurgeon or an orthopaedic "specialist" surgeon perform the procedure ?


  • i feel the surgeon with the most experience is the one to use. whether ortho or neuro. ask around. nurses and physical therapists can have good knowledge of various surgeons. and also there is the comfort factor. why not meet with both a neuro and ortho then decide?
  • with Pete - best to find someone who had done lots and lots of the same procedure and has patients who have gotten good results.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • As long as you are looking at orthopedic spinal surgeons and not orthopedic generalists (the guys who set bones, do joint replacements, etc.)there is very little difference between the two specialties. What you want is a fellowship-trained orthopedical spinal surgeon or a neurosurgeon who devotes his practice to issues of the spine and back. His/her credentials will denote something like "Spinal fellowship" which is the specialized training beyond that of the residency.

    There is increasing talk at med. schools of merging the two and creating one specialty: "spinal surgeon."

    There is a whole lengthy thread that talks about this issue:


    I consulted with eight difference specialists before choosing a doctor for my fusion. It was interesting in that there was a difference between what the neuros recommended, as opposed to what the orthos recommended.

    It is a always a good idea for you to get several opinions.
  • Hi Gwennie said it very well.
    My personal preferance would be a nero-surgeon. But, what I would say to you is researce, contact the medical board to check up om their record. Make sure they do not have any suits against them. Find out hoe long they have been doing THIS type of surgery. What were they doing before. Feel comfortable with whom you choose.
    Ask questions not only of the board & the doctor, but also ask the doctors patients. Stick aroun outside & talk to them that have already had him/her as a surgeon & chat it up. Remember each persons' case is different. But, it does give you a baselinemfor grading the doctor. Feel free to get many opinions from other doctors. Then, go with you gut feeling. Good luck in getting into the right hands for your surgery. May you find the best hans ment for you. Best wishes on a speedy recovery as well. ;-) btdt
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