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Old 01-16-2007, 10:20 PM   #1
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Orthopedic vs Neuro

Hi all,

I just wanted to post some info for the newbies that may just now being faced with a cervical spine surgery.

I have read quite a few times on this board, that one should see a good neurosurgeon when faced with a cervical spine surgery.

Well of course that is good advice. But it is also good advice to see a good orthopedic surgeon as well.

The key is to make sure that the surgeon is a Spine Specialist. That they have done a fellowship in spinal surgery.

Both a Neurosurgeon and an Orthopedic Surgeons are highly trained in these surgeries, as long as they are Spine Specialists which is becoming it's own specialty. I wouldn't want a Neurosurgeon that just did brain surgeries working on my spine, nor would I want a Orthopedic Surgeon that just did hip surgeries working on my spine either.
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Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
Old 01-17-2007, 08:08 AM   #2
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

SL,

I agree totally with this post.

Good Job!

Dennis

 
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:20 AM   #3
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

The guy who did mine on Jan. 10th was a orthopedic spinal surgeon

 
Old 01-17-2007, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

Thanks Dennis!

And Sue, mine is also a Orthopedic surgeon that is a Spine Specialist. I even know the school that he got his spinal fellowship at.

I just thought it so important to post the info. My insurance doesn't even have any neurosurgeons that do spinal surgery. So at first I thought I was getting substandard care. The more I researched the more I found out that this just wasn't true!!

As long as they are Spine Specialists you should be in good hands.
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Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
Old 01-17-2007, 05:36 PM   #5
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

This is an issue that pops up on here from time to time and there is usually someone that will swear and be damn'd one is better than the other.

I've had 2 cervical fusions. The first one I had done was by a neuro, and it failed. And he was a top shelf guy too I found out afterword. But my ortho (who cleaned it up) is the head of the musculoskelatel (sp) department at a major university hospital, and his specialty is spinal surgery. I got referrals on about a half a dozen guys and picked him, he was the best qualified as far as I could tell. I checked them out on the net.

Take the BEST qualified guy you can find. You need to get your referrals, check out their pedigrees' and make your choice.

But dont get caught up in that neuro vs ortho crap, because it is just that.

You got it right Shepherd Lady

 
Old 01-20-2007, 09:23 AM   #6
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

Finding a surgeon that the patient is most comfortable with is the key.

My surgery was performed by an NS. However, it could have been an Ortho had I been seeking out University hospitals and it just so happened that the surgeon with the best reputation and cutting edge experience was an Ortho.

However, there is no recognized specialty in Spinal Surgery, and that does make a difference; a NS is held to a higher standard, legally, no matter where the surgery is performed, their training is different, and an Ortho cannot breach the thecal sac if a problem arises during surgery demanding such.

So, yes, there are differences, but the individual circumstances can just as often, if not more often, lead to one choosing an Ortho over an NS.
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Last edited by ThoreauFan; 01-20-2007 at 09:25 AM.

 
Old 01-20-2007, 03:00 PM   #7
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoreauFan View Post
Finding a surgeon that the patient is most comfortable with is the key.

My surgery was performed by an NS. However, it could have been an Ortho had I been seeking out University hospitals and it just so happened that the surgeon with the best reputation and cutting edge experience was an Ortho.

However, there is no recognized specialty in Spinal Surgery, and that does make a difference; a NS is held to a higher standard, legally, no matter where the surgery is performed, their training is different, and an Ortho cannot breach the thecal sac if a problem arises during surgery demanding such.

So, yes, there are differences, but the individual circumstances can just as often, if not more often, lead to one choosing an Ortho over an NS.
Never heard of a neurosurgeon being held to a higher legal standard. As are far as Spinal Surgery there is a specialty and that is a Spinal Specialist. Which is what my Orthosurgeon is.

And it was my Neurologist that recommended him.
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Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
Old 01-20-2007, 06:21 PM   #8
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShepherdLady View Post
Never heard of a neurosurgeon being held to a higher legal standard. As are far as Spinal Surgery there is a specialty and that is a Spinal Specialist. Which is what my Orthosurgeon is.

And it was my Neurologist that recommended him.
As I stated, choosing a surgeon is an individual decision.

I will be clearer with regard to "specialties" and "legal standard."

The American Board of Medical Specialties provides specialist certifications for physicians. This is what a physician refers to when he/she speaks of being "Board Certified" in a specialty.

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery provides physicians, assuming they meet the rigorous criteria, with Board Certification in the general specialty of "Orthopaedic Surgery" and, in some cases, one of its two subspecialties, which are "Surgery of the Hand" and "Orthopaedic Sports Medicine." The American Board of Neurological Surgery provides physicians who meet their criteria with a Board Certification in the general specialty of "Neurological Surgery."

There is not a recognized specialty of "Spinal Specialist." In legal terms recognized "specialists" are held to a national standard while General Practicioners (family Dr.s) are held to a local standard.

What this means is, that if patient X sees a Neurosurgeon in the middle of North Dakota, then that Neurosurgeon's level of knowledge and skills will be measured against that of Neurosurgeons everywhere (even N.Y. city). The exact same concept applies to Orthopaedic Surgeons.

They are two different specialties; Neurosurgeons receive two more years of medical training than Orthos and have the skills and knowledge to perform procedures that an Orthopaedic Surgeon cannot (as in the thecal sac example). The applicable standards of care are different.

I hope that explains it.
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Last edited by ThoreauFan; 01-20-2007 at 07:15 PM.

 
Old 01-20-2007, 08:10 PM   #9
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

ThoreauFan,

You said there are differences that would make us choose one over the other, what would those be? For the new folks coming on here for advise, Know what I mean? You kinda dangled the carrot there and maybe you could clear it up for us all.

Otherwise, they might end up with an ortho when what they need is a neuro.

 
Old 01-20-2007, 08:49 PM   #10
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Re: Orthopedic vs Neuro

No, there isn't a board specialty for Spine Specialists. However my guess is that will change in the near future. The line between both fields is blurring in regards to spine surgery.

And yes, it can be a personal choice. We all want the best care we can get. And with some, that may be a neurosurgeon and for others that may be a orthopedic surgeon. One just isn't better than the other.
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Severe Stenosis thanks to C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7 herniated disc's into my spinal cord.

 
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