What Characteristics Make a Great Spinal Surgeon

If you’re looking for a spinal surgeon and you do a quick search on Google, you’re likely to find several practitioners in your area. If you live in a bigger metropolitan area, the list can get quite long. So, if you need to have a spinal surgeon perform surgery on your back to help with your pain levels, how do you pick out the one that is going to be the best choice for you? Luckily, there are characteristics you should consider when you start looking at surgeons to help you make the best choice possible, and we’ve listed several below.

1. Personable

Just like any other type of medical professional, your surgeon should have a very good bedside manner. You want a surgeon who is going to treat you with respect and be kind. Since it’s a common problem that some medical professionals don’t treat their patients as people but as scientific projects, having a personable spinal surgeon is a must. You don’t want someone who comes across as cold or arrogant, so you have to find a surgeon that has a nice balance between compassion and professionalism.

2. Resourceful

You want to find a surgical team that works to exhaust all treatment options before they go to surgery. They could suggest pain management approaches that are as simple as using a combination of anti-inflammatories and physical therapy, or they may go for more complex approaches like epidural injections. If all of these methods fail, you’ll want to get a spinal surgeon who is very good at minimally invasive surgical procedures. This gives you fewer complications, faster recovery times, shorter stays in the hospital, and less damage to any of the surrounding tissues.

3. Experience and Training

Your surgeon should have special designations like being fellowship-trained or board-certified. Any board-certified surgeon has passed a very rigorous exam, and this means that they usually have a high level of expertise in this area of medicine. Surgeons who have fellowship training have gone through additional intensive training in their area of expertise. Also, spinal surgeons are usually either neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons. Depending on your situation, one may fit better than the other. A quality surgeon will have experience performing whichever procedure you need and have experience with your condition, but they will also have a high success rate.

4. Dedicated to Continuing Education

Since the medical field is constantly evolving, the best surgeons will make a point to keep up with the newest knowledge or techniques. They have a dedication to helping improve their patients’ outcomes by knowing the latest surgical techniques and technology. They could get involved in research studies, attend medical conferences, or be active in professional organizations. They’re also open to learning things from others in their field.

5. Team Player

In order to give you the best long-term care possible, your surgeon should be a part of a multidisciplinary team. This team works to address more than just your immediate needs, and they’ll collaborate with other team members in different specialties to come up with a comprehensive care plan. This team could have physical therapists, chiropractors, pain management specialists, nurses, and psychotherapists. You may have to consult with each of them to help fill out your medical history and give the surgeon more to work with.

6. Minimize Risks

The fundamental medical principle that your spinal surgeon should live by is “First, do no harm.” This means that they’re ready to go above and beyond to ensure that all of their patients are safe. They can do this by specializing in minimally invasive surgical techniques, following strict protocols, operating only with state-of-the-art surgical tools with the latest technology, and using the latest techniques. A good surgeon will have low infection rates with an outstanding reputation for pre and postoperative care.

7. Realism

Your surgeon’s realism should balance very nicely with their sense of determination. A great surgeon will take into consideration any possible way to treat their patients, and they’ll do so while keeping a realistic outlook on the probable outcomes. Not each patient will do well with a more complex surgery like one on the spine, and a quality surgeon will take this fact into account. They also shouldn’t be afraid, to be frank with their patients on their thoughts on the best treatment approach, the outcomes, and the possibility of the surgery not being 100% successful without the patient’s full cooperation and help.

8. Leadership Abilities

Most surgeons will have the most senior positions on the medical team, so it’s vital that these people have the necessary skills required to lead a team forward. This could be anything from spearheading a new research project to working with a team in the operating room. Your surgeon should have the ability to come up with strategies to help cooperate with the rest of the care team and respect other peoples’ opinions.

9. Mechanical Skill

This one should be common sense for a surgeon to have, but it’s especially important for any surgeon that is working around areas related to your nervous systems like your brain or spine. Some of the best surgeons available have amazing dexterity and coordination down to an art form. They should also have very steady hands, and this will be reflected in their success rates. If your surgeon doesn’t have the mechanical ability required to work around your spine, you should move on to a different spinal surgeon with a higher success rate.

Contact Florida Spine Associates

If you’re looking for a high-quality spinal surgeon, we encourage you to start with Florida Spine Associates. Our qualified staff will sit down with you and go over your medical history to help create a custom treatment plan that can help alleviate your pain levels. We have spinal surgeons on staff who will consult with you too to go over your options and ensure you know all of the possibilities for treatment to help you live a more fulfilling life.