There is no “best” back surgeon or spine surgeon. The best back surgeon
for you is someone sympathetic to your needs, a doctor who explains
everything to you and one who has experience with your particular problem.
A good back surgeon keeps abreast of the new literature. It is also
probably important to find someone who takes your insurance plan.
Back surgeons don’t just operate. They are also experts at conservative
care and non-surgical treatments. Spine surgeons perform tests, prescribe
pain blocks, supervise physical therapy, and can tell
you if surgery is needed. Most back surgeons are experienced with
minimally invasive surgery and microsurgery.
You can locate a good spine surgeon by asking your primary care
physician or your friends. If you’ve had a work injury, your employer or
your attorney can help you find a good surgeon.
Ask your surgeon how many new patients he sees and how many surgeries
he has done. Ask about other items important to you, such as how he feels
about chiropractors or acupuncturists, for example. For most problems, you
will probably want a surgeon with a smaller and more personal practice. It
may be difficult to get time with busy HMO-type doctors. If you have a
rare problem, or one requiring experimental treatments, you will probably
want to go to a university center.