15 Questions with Dr. Robert Norton

Each month, we ask one of our practitioners to answer questions that offer a glimpse into their practice and their lives. 

Dr. Robert Norton is a founding partner of Florida Spine Associates and an orthopaedic spine surgeon. He and Dr. Brian Burrough launched the practice in 2015. He offers expertise in all aspects of spine care, including cervical and lumbar degenerative or deformity conditions, and both competitive athletic or weekend warrior injuries of all ages. 

How did you meet your partner, Dr. Burrough?

We first met while completing our residencies at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. I was doing my orthopedic residency and he was an anesthesiologist. We both left Miami for our subspecialty training, but we remained friends and reconnected when we returned to the area. 

Why did you and Dr. Burrough create Florida Spine Associates?

Dr. Burrough and I have similar approaches to medicine. We both wanted to create the premier facility that offered care from beginning to end. We saw our combined specialties — orthopedic spine surgery and pain management  — as natural partners in the continuum of care. 

What would the staff say about you?

I think they would share how much I care for my patients; that I take the time to listen and take into account their unique circumstances. It’s why I wanted my own practice – so I could give my patients the attention I knew they deserved.

What is your favorite procedure and why?

My favorite procedures are kyphoplasties. They help treat painful vertebral compression fractures and various spinal problems. In both situations, I am able to restore function and relieve pain quickly.

What do you love most about your job?

Hearing my patients tell me “thank you” for giving them their life back.

What’s your favorite aspect of the practice you’ve built?

I love our teamwork. There’s so much synergy between the orthopedic spine surgeons and interventional pain management practitioners. We regularly conference to figure out the best way to approach each patient’s care. We also are friends and get along well with each other. 

I’d also say our staff is amazing. We’re very picky about the people we hire because we know every patient interaction matters. We have a top-notch team who truly cares.

What makes you the most proud?

I’m most proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish so fast. Because we live in this community, we get to see our patients out enjoying their lives. I have patients come up to me and say, “That’s my Doc!,” which puts a huge smile on my face. We’ve made so many patients happy by listening and giving them personalized care.

What do most people not know about you? 

Most people don’t realize I am very conservative when creating healthcare plans for my patients. I don’t recommend surgery for the majority of people that come to see me. I want patients to try non surgical therapies before jumping into surgery, including physical therapy, using a brace or trying pain management options such as injections or anti-inflammatories. Surgery should be a last resort option. I know that sounds funny coming from a surgeon, but that’s the truth.

Now, onto some personal questions. Do you have a hidden talent or passion?

Not only am I a carpenter in the operating room but I am also a handyman around the house. I enjoy fixing things!

What are your hobbies?

I have three very active and athletic boys. My current hobbies include being their biggest cheerleader at every sporting event. When I’m not the embarrassing dad in the bleachers, I enjoy relaxing at the pool or skiing and hiking in the mountains. 

So, you’re a sports fan. What teams do you follow?

I am from the northeast, so I am a Philly fan through and through. Go Eagles and Phillies!

Appointments with Dr. Norton are available for South Florida residents ready to take “back” to their lives. Make an appointment for your consultation today.