Neurosurgeon vs. Orthopedic Surgeon for Spine Surgery [2020 Update]
When it comes spinal surgery, there’s a lot of confusion in the healthcare industry surrounding the difference between a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon.
That confusion is well-warranted and runs so deep that even referring physicians don’t fully understand the difference between the two professions.
Both perform spine surgeries, both claim to provide cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedures and both can specialize in the spine. The truth, however, is that the two fields are very different and can provide patients with very different surgical outcomes.
In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and, more importantly, the differences between orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons and will help shed some clarity on the unique characteristics of each of these distinct medical professions.
Here is the answer in a nutshell:
The biggest and most fundamental difference between the two physicians is also the most obvious: orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons receive different training in different medical fields.
Indeed, even where these fields happen to overlap, as in the case of orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons who both treat the spine, the primary difference between orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons will always come down to a difference in training and specialized competence.
How have these two distinct worlds become so intertwined?