The Lowdown on Low Back Pain
(and Other Aches)


How do I pick the best back surgeon?

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 medications, provide 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. 



The information in this site briefly describes issues related to medical treatments, and has been licensed by from Northern California Neurosurgery Medical Group, Inc., who is solely responsible for said content.  This web site is not a substitute for good medical care or for a consultation with a spine specialist. It should not be used to plan your treatment. The well considered advice of a specialist who has personally examined you is always superior to even the best internet pages.

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Last modified: 07/27/08