If you’re like the millions of people who suffer from neck or back pain these days, you probably wonder what you can do to live a pain free life. You will likely visit a few different providers, who might recommend a word that can cause some uneasy feeling = surgery. Even more nerve wracking, is who will perform your surgery that you can trust, and is experienced.
Neurosurgeon vs Orthopedic Surgeon:
What’s the difference between these two skilled physicians? The main factor is that each of these surgeons has received training, but in different medical fields. Yes, they both can treat the spine. However – their knowledge, training, and experiences are vastly diverse.
Since they are so distinct, where does the confusion come in? Mainly because both can treat the spine, and patients usually just look for a broad term, such as “spine surgeon.” With a vague term such as that, the differences of technical skill and competence between the two are lost, when the truth is – they are incomparable.
Let’s break down these two complex professions in terms that the average person can understand, and make an informed decision. First up, Orthopedic.
This is a medical speciality that treats problems related to the musculoskeletal system. This includes bones, ligaments, tendons, joints and muscles. An orthopedic surgeon treats many disorders with a variety of surgical procedures, with the most common being knee, hip, shoulder, foot, etc.
Neurosurgeons on the other hand, trained longer (usually 1-2 years extra), and specifically treat conditions of the nervous system, which include the brain and the entire spine and spinal cord from the skull down to the tailbone. Surgeons are able to perform important procedures such as minimally invasive spine surgery, cervical spine surgery, brain tumor and other conditions related to the nervous and cerebrovascular system. It’s a more focused and specialized field that exclusively treats ALL spinal problems that an orthopedic surgeon cannot. Simply put, the hours and years that neurosurgeons put into becoming a spine specialist doesn’t even compare to that of an orthopedist.
As mentioned already, this is a very broad overview of both fields and should not be the deciding factor in your decision. As the patient, and the person who will be having the procedure, ensure that you are comfortable and have trust in the one you choose. These types of procedures are not a “one size fits all” solution by any means. It would be best to ask as many questions as possible including your surgeon’s education and training including residency and fellowship, experiences, results, infection rates, and niche. Lastly, these surgeons are all unique in their own way. They each bring their own specialized medical competencies and backgrounds to every surgery they perform.
At CNY Brain and Spine we have an amazing team of world renowned professionals. Dr. Nicholas Qandah has 15 years of Neurosurgical experience and trained with the world’s best neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons. He offers special expertise in the surgical and non-surgical Regenerative Spine Care, specializing in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and the latest Robotic and Cellular Technology. Dr. Qandah’s care covers the complete spectrum of neurosurgical needs, including the neck (cervical spine), back (lumbar spine), spinal injuries (trauma), scoliosis, spinal tumors, brain tumors and brain trauma. He averages around 750 surgeries a year and over the course of his career has performed at least 10,000 surgeries. Patient and professional reviews of Dr. Qandah and his staff are above and beyond five stars. Many patients come to Dr. Qandah after too many failed diagnoses and they now live pain free, raving how they wish that they had found Dr. Qandah first.
If you’re still unsure or need more information please reach out to us here for your consultation. We are happy to have discussions and answer any questions you might have so you will have the best solution for your condition.