• Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic Surgeons can Specialize in Spine Surgery

    by Dr. Shawn Henry
    on Oct 19th, 2018

A few decades ago, neurosurgeons were primarily the only specialists responsible for spine surgery, but in the past 20 to 25 years’ spine surgery has evolved so that both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine surgery, and for most of the typical spine operations both types of surgeons are equally well qualified.

In both specialties, the surgeons may subspecialize, such as in the case of surgeons who specialize in pediatrics, cervical spine, lumbar spine, hand and wrist surgery, plastic surgery, or in other areas or procedures.

Neurosurgeons

Neurosurgeons may be Medical Doctors or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, and complete a five to six-year residency focused on the surgical treatment of neurological conditions. Neurosurgeons are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders involving:

Some neurosurgeons specialize exclusively on brain surgery, some on spine surgery, and some split their practice between the two.

Orthopedic Surgeons

Orthopedic surgeons may be Medical Doctors (MD) or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) who have completed a five-year surgical residency focused on the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Orthopedists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of almost all bone and joint disorders, such as:

Some orthopedic surgeons focus their practice exclusively on spine surgery, some on other types of joints (e.g. hips, knees, shoulders), and some split their practice among two or more areas.

Both neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons may complete fellowship training to do most types of spine surgery, but there are a few types of spine surgery in which one specialty tends to be more qualified than the other, such as:

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Spine Fellowships

Both orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons may extend their training after residency by completing a spine fellowship program. These fellowships provide additional, specialized training for orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons that have successfully completed their residency training and earned their board certification or eligibility in their specialty.

Completing a spine fellowship is a marker of a surgeon who has chosen to specialize in spine surgery and is willing to make the extra investment in training to become more skilled.

This was not always the case. Before spine surgery was a recognized subspecialty—15 to 20 years ago—it was not common, and often not an option, for orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons to do a spine fellowship program. For surgeons who have been in practice with this length of tenure, if they have specialized their practice in spine surgery, then they have likely earned their additional training in their practice and may not be fellowship trained.

About Dr. Shawn Henry

Shawn Henry, D.O. is a Fellowship Trained Board Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon serving at Texas Spine Solutions in Fort Worth, TX. Dr. Henry specializes in spine surgery in which his comprehensive treatment includes back pain, neck pain, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, nerve pain, spinal fracture, and spine pain. He has 15 years of experience in helping patients conquer pain and mobility issues due to spinal problems. Dr. Henry is highly experienced in orthopaedic spine surgery and he uses the most advanced techniques available today to achieve optimum results. He believes strongly in the conservative care approach and utilizes surgery as a last resort.

Dr. Henry earned his medical degree at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1996. He completed a spine surgery fellowship at Texas Back Institute in 2002. Dr. Henry maintains affiliations with several Baylor Medical facilities as well as Texas Health Resource facilities. Call anytime to arrange a consultation with Dr. Henry. He looks forward to meeting new patients.

For Phone (appointments): 817-429-4545 | Phone (general inquiries): 817-429-4545

 

 

Author Dr. Shawn Henry Texas Spine Solutions

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