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Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon vs. Neurosurgeon

Posted on: February 7th, 2024 by Our Team

Orthopaedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons are both specialized medical professionals who focus on treating conditions related to the spine. Contemporary training programs often train residents from both backgrounds. In fact, Dr. Singh received his subspecialty spine surgery training fellowship under the tutelage of both Orthopedic Spine and Neurosurgeons.

  1. Training and Focus: Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons: These surgeons start their career as orthopaedic surgeons. They specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. After completing a residency in orthopaedic surgery, they undergo additional fellowship training focusing specifically on the spine. Neurosurgeons: Neurosurgeons specialize in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Following their neurosurgery residency, some neurosurgeons may choose to specialize further in spinal surgery.
  2. Types of Conditions Treated: Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons and Neurosurgeons treat similar spinal conditions. Only in instances of specific spinal cord tumors may neurosurgeons have additional training in cases of tumors of the spinal cord, intradural extramedullary tumors, and conditions like Chiari malformation or syringomyelia.
  3. Surgical Techniques: Both orthopaedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons perform similar types of spine surgery, like laminectomy, discectomy, and spinal fusion. However, their approach might differ slightly based on their training and focus.
  4. Overlap and Collaboration: There is considerable overlap in what both these specialists can do. Often, the choice between an orthopaedic spine surgeon and a neurosurgeon may depend on the specific condition, the surgeon’s individual expertise, and their experience with certain types of spinal conditions. In some complex cases, both an orthopaedic spine surgeon and a neurosurgeon may work together.

In summary, while both orthopaedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons are qualified to treat a variety of spinal conditions, their training backgrounds and areas of expertise differ, leading to variations in their approach to treating spinal disorders. The choice of specialist often depends on the specific spinal condition and the individual surgeon’s expertise and experience. If you’re in need of an expert minimally invasive spine surgeon, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kern Singh whose training in spine surgery was done under the tutelage of orthopedic spine and neurosurgeons. Dr. Singh has offices in Chicago, Oak Brook, and Munster, IN.

At A Glance

Dr. Kern Singh

  • Minimally invasive and endoscopic spine surgeon
  • Inventor and surgeon innovator with multiple patents in spinal surgery and instrumentation
  • Author of more than 10 textbooks in minimally invasive spinal surgery
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