If you choose to visit a spine surgeon, it is of paramount importance that you select one who is not only highly skilled, but who you feel a deep level of trust and comfort with. Spine surgery is an advanced elective procedure that is commonly considered only after more traditional treatments have failed. If you want to choose the right spine surgeon, there are a few key things that you MUST keep in mind.
When neck or back pain begins to disrupt a patient’s life, the first step they take is usually to visit their primary care physician. It’s important to understand that this is exactly that – a first step. Oftentimes, patients will have conditions that require the more intimate, detailed experience of a spine specialist.
What Are the Board Certifications of a Spine Surgeon?
Board Certifications are a great indicator of a top quality spine surgeon because they are only awarded after an intense examination process, which itself comes at the end of an extensive post-graduate education.
Training and Condition Specific Training of a Spine Surgeon are NOT the Same Thing
All spine surgeons are trained – only certain medical professionals will have the experience necessary to properly treat the unique condition that a patient is facing. Before considering any type of spine surgery, it’s of paramount importance that you ask how many times a potential surgeon has actually performed the procedure relevant to their needs. You’ll also want to find out what percentage of patients have experienced relief from pain after the spine surgery and more.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s always recommended that you select a spine surgeon who has committed at least 50% of his or her time to treating specific spinal conditions like yours. To put this into perspective, the North American Spine Society requires that at least a full half of a particular physician’s practice be devote to spine surgery. The reason for this is simple: physicians who spend more time with spinal conditions are likely to be up to date on all of the latest and most technologically advanced procedures.
Absolutely Nothing Can Replace Communication with a Spine Surgeon
Above all else, it’s important to always establish an open and honest air of communication with your spine surgeon. This is the key to a successful doctor-patient relationship. If your potential spine surgeon isn’t taking the time to clearly explain the procedures they’re going to perform and why they’re going to perform them, you won’t be able to establish the trust and rapport necessary for the relationship in the first place.
A spine surgeon should always be accessible and should always listen to your concerns and provide satisfying answers to all of your questions. They should also be willing to put you in touch with previous patients who have previously (and successfully) undergone similar surgeries.
Dr. Kornel – The Spine Surgeon You Need, Providing the Care You Deserve
Dr. Ezriel Kornel is a highly trained, passionate and board-certified neurosurgeon who is at the forefront of state-of-the-art minimally invasive spine surgery. As part of an elite team who cared for former press secretary James Brady following a gunshot wound inflected during the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan, his dedication to his profession and his commitment to his patients are second to none in the industry.