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10 Best Back Surgeons For Patients With Back Pain In 2021

Author:  
Dr. Deuk
An expert in all things spine, Dr. Deukmedjain is a board certified neurosurgeon who has performed thousands of minimally invasive surgeries and procedures including the revolutionary Deuk Laser Disc Repair and the Deuk Spinal Fusion. 

If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, it can feel overwhelming to research treatment options and search for the best back surgeon to cure your back pain. Find a doctor who will thoroughly evaluate your condition and help you determine an ideal course of action. 

To help you find the best back surgeon for you and your procedure, in this article, we’re covering what you should consider when choosing a back surgeon and 10 of the best back surgeons in the country.

How Invasive Is the Procedure? 

The best back surgeons employ advanced surgical techniques and modern technologies to work on the human body in a less hazardous manner with minimally invasive surgery.

When it comes to doing minimally invasive treatments, some surgeons are more proficient than others. The less intrusive the operation, the minor discomfort you should feel afterward. Furthermore, minimally invasive procedures have a lower risk of complications and a much faster recovery rate. 

For example, Endoscopic spine surgeries like the Deuk Laser Disc Repair are performed outside the hospital in the safety of an outpatient surgery center, and there is no need for opioid painkillers. It is estimated that over 90% of spinal fusions being done today can be performed instead as an endoscopic Deuk Laser Disc Repair.

10 Best Back Surgeons To Consider

We've compiled a list of 10 of the most outstanding back surgeons for you to consider. We've listed their location, credentials, as well as the types of surgeries they specialize in.

1. Dr. Ara Deukmedjian

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Location:

Deuk Spine Institute, Spyglass Hill Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940

Experience: 24 years + experience 

About Surgeon: 

Dr. Ara Deukmedjian is a renowned neuro-spine surgeon and a true pioneer in minimally invasive, laser, and endoscopic back, and neck pain treatment. He has extensive experience, has performed more than 2,000 cervical decompressive discectomies, treated more than 1,000 herniated or degenerated lumbar discs, and done more than 1300 laser spine surgeries.

Dr. Deukmedjian is the CEO and medical director of Deuk Spine Institute, where he developed his revolutionary laser procedure called Deuk Laser Disc Repair. Deuk Laser Disc Repair is a minimally invasive spinal surgery, a modern alternative to spinal fusion surgery and artificial discs. It has a higher success rate than traditional spinal surgery at 95%, with fewer complications, a quicker recovery period, and does not weaken the spine. This incredible surgery is available to anyone with back, neck, or thoracic pain from a herniated or bulging disc.

Outside of his professional practice, he is a member of several professional associations, such as The Fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), and Surgery Department Chair, Parrish Medical Center. He has also been awarded the ‘Patients Choice Award’ for consecutive years.

Surgery types:

  • Deuk Laser Disc Repair
  • Neck and Back Injuries 
  • Laminectomy / Foraminotomy
  • Artificial discs
  • Spinal Fusion

Read more

2. Dr. John B. Emans

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About the surgeon: 

Dr. John B. Emans earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School. He is board-certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and currently serves as the director of the spine surgery division at Children’s Hospital in Boston.

After earning his medical degree at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Emans completed his residency at Peter Bent Brigham, Boston, and completed the Harvard Combined Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program.

Surgery types:

  • Orthopedic surgery

Location:

Dr. John B. Emans is located at Boston Children’s Hospital: 300 Longwood Avenue, Fegan, 2nd Floor Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Link to learn more:

3. Dr. Alvin H. Crawford

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About the surgeon: 

Dr. Crawford earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He completed his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children Hospital, before concluding his fellowship at New England Baptist Hospital, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the Alfred I DuPont Institute.

He is a professor of pediatric orthopedic surgery at the University of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He is the co-director of the Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

He is board-certified with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and has numerous articles published in peer-reviewed publications.

Surgery types:

  • Spinal Disorders
  • Pediatric Orthopaedics

Location:

Dr. Crawford is located at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine: Suite E-870 3230 Eden Avenue Cincinnati, OH 45267

Link to learn more:

4. Dr. Ehud Mendel

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About the surgeon: 

Dr. Ehud Mendel, MD, has developed numerous spine surgery techniques and spine tumor research protocols. He is the director of the Spine Oncology Program at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and is a clinical director of the Ohio State University Spine Research Institute.

He has developed a new surgical technique that reconstructs the spine after a patient has had surgery to remove bone tumors.

Surgery types:

  • Spinal Cancers
  • Spinal Cord Tumors

Location:

Dr. Ehud Mendel is located at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: Columbus, OH 43210

Link to learn more: https://cancer.osu.edu/ehud-mendel

5. Dr. Lawrence Borges

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About the surgeon: 

Dr. Lawrence Borges is the Spine Tumor Clinic’s surgical director and the Neurosurgical Spine Center director at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Borges earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore and completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.

He is interested in spinal tumors and has numerous articles published in professional and peer-reviewed medical publications.

Surgery types:

  • Laminectomy
  • Fusions
  • Spinal cord tumors

Location:

Dr. Lawrence Borges is located at the Massachusetts General Hospital: 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114

Link to learn more:

6. Dr. Khalid M. Abbed

best-spine-surgeons-dr-khalid-abbed

About the surgeon: 

Dr. Khalid M. Abbed, MD, is a neurosurgeon and spine care specialist. He is skilled in minimally invasive surgeries and is currently working with other health care professionals to develop innovative, less invasive procedures and more intelligent medical technologies for back pain treatment. 

Dr. Khalid M. Abbed is also the director and co-physician-in-chief of spine tumor surgery at Hartford HealthCare.

He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed his residency at Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and then completed his neurosurgical and orthopedic spine surgery fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.

Surgery types:

  • Lumbar Spine Surgery
  • Cervical Spine Surgery
  • Robotic Spinal Surgery
  • Thoracic Spine Surgery

Location:

Dr. Khalid M. Abbed is located at Hartford HealthCare Medical Group: One State Street, Suite 19, Hartford, CT 06103

Link to learn more:

7. Dr. Afshin Aminian

best-spine-surgeons-dr-afshin-aminian

About the surgeon: 

Dr. Afshin Aminian is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who earned his medical degree at the Washington School of Medicine. He is the medical director at the Orthopaedic Institute at the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

He completed his general surgery internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and concluded his fellowship at San Diego Children’s Hospital.

He is heavily involved in advanced research examining innovative ways to surgically correct spinal deformities and treat back pains in patients.

Surgery types:

  • Spinal deformities
  • Spine surgeries

Location:

Dr. Afshin Aminian is located at the children's Hospital of Orange County: 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA 92868

Link to learn more:

8. Dr. Christopher P. Ames

best-spine-surgeons-dr-christopher-ames

About the surgeon: 

Dr. Christopher Ames is a neurosurgeon who specializes in spine tumors. He has published multiple articles in over 400 peer-review publications. Dr. Christopher Ames is an internationally honored lecturer and the director at UCSF’s neurosurgical spinal deformity service.

At UCSF's neurosurgical spinal deformity service, over 200 procedures are performed each year to help patients with scoliosis, kyphosis, flatback syndrome, and chin-on-chest deformity ankylosing spondylitis.

Dr. Ames earned his medical degree at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, completing his residency in neurological surgery at the University of California in San Diego, before completing his fellowship at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

He has presented to various Spine Society meetings worldwide and has served as chairman for various national and international courses.

Surgery types:

  • Spinal tumors

Location:

Dr. Christopher Ames is located at the University of California San Francisco Health: 

Link to learn more:

9. Dr. Thomas C Chen

best-spine-surgeons-dr-thomas-chen

About the surgeon: 

Dr. Thomas C Chen is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon focused on spine cancer. He is an assistant professor of neurological surgery and pathology at USC Keck School of Medicine and is the co-director of the USC/Norris Neuro-Oncology Program.

He also pioneers innovative treatments for spine and brain tumors.

He earned his medical degree at the University of California, completed his neurosurgical residency at USC, and finished his spine fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

Surgery types:

  • Spine surgery

Location:

Dr. Thomas C Chen is located at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital: 1520 San Pablo Street, HCT-3800 Los Angeles, CA 90033-5313

Link to learn more:

10. Dr. Brian P. Hasley

best-spine-surgeons-dr-brian-hasley

About the surgeon: 

Dr. Brian Hasley specializes in pediatric and neuromuscular spinal deformity. earned his medical degree at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Nebraska-Creighton University Health Foundation Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation

He’s a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and is a member of the Scoliosis Research Society and the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America. Also, he completed his fellowship at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center.

Surgery types:

  • Orthopedic Surgery

Location:

Dr. Brian Hasley is located at the Children's Hospital & Medical Center Omaha: Dodge St. Omaha, NE 68114

Link to learn more:

How to select the best back surgeon for you

Ask yourself the following questions:

Is the back surgeon board certified?

Choosing a back surgeon who is Board Certified or Board eligible is very important. Board-certified surgeons are considered experts in their field. In addition to having extensive professional expertise, they demonstrate a high commitment to ethical standards in their field. In many instances, this translates to better patient care. When you choose a board-certified surgeon, you can rest easy knowing you’ve picked from the best.

You run the risk of more significant surgical complications and undesirable results if you choose a surgeon who isn't board certified. Additionally, you may be more limited in your surgical options.  As a result, when deciding who to entrust with your surgery, making sure they are board-certified should be at the top of your priority list.

Learn about the details of the back surgeon’s training

Another crucial factor to consider when selecting a surgeon is their credentials; you want to ensure they are qualified and competent to treat you.

It's perfectly okay to inquire about university degrees, internships, residencies, and fellowship programs. You can better understand a surgeon's interests and specialty by discovering where they went to school, what they studied, and the training they’ve acquired. 

Surgeons undergo three additional training phases after they complete their medical training. First, they complete an Internship, Residency, then a Fellowship. You will be able to see where they completed these phases and how long ago.

Most surgeons will also give you a ballpark figure as to how many surgeries are performed. As well as detailing what their areas of expertise are. You should always ask about the surgeon's success rate and complications.

Is your back surgeon experienced and qualified?

Studies have shown that experience is an essential factor to consider when choosing a surgeon. This is because an extensive background in performing surgery is essential when conducting different kinds of back procedures.

When choosing a surgeon, finding an experienced and qualified surgeon will increase your chances of getting a correct diagnosis and corrective surgery. An experienced surgeon is someone who has performed the procedure for at least five years or performed the spine procedure at least 30 times, and resulted in: 

  • Reduced surgical complications.
  • Improved patient screening and lower rates of patients referred for surgery.
  • Low infection rates.
  • Shorter hospital stays.
  • Lower reoperation rate.

In addition to the medical credentials and training, check to see if their specialty matches your needs.

Are you comfortable with your back surgeon?

Your surgeon's ability to make you feel at ease is just as vital as their experiences and qualifications. It is also significant to ensure the surgeon answers your queries in a non-technical manner. Even if a surgeon has all the qualifications, if you don't like or feel comfortable talking to them, that is enough reason to find another surgeon. Different patients have different requirements they look for in a surgeon in terms of comfortability. Some patients prefer surgeons who give a wealth of medical information to back up their suggestions, while others choose professional and approachable. And others examine the surgeon's personality, how the surgeon handles patients.

Overall, Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you have the surgeon’s undivided attention?
  • Is the surgeon someone with whom you have a good relationship?
  • Does the surgeon assist you in understanding all of your alternatives and the benefits and risks of each surgery? 
  • Is the surgeon willing to offer you research to back up their treatment suggestions?
  • Do you believe the surgeon puts forth their best effort to identify the best treatment for your specific case? 
  • Do you think your surgeon is on board with your choices?

Do they specialize in your specific surgery?

If you've concluded that surgery is the best course of action for your back pain, the next step is to determine which type of surgeon should perform your procedure. It's usually a good idea to seek a doctor specializing in the specific type of back treatment you are looking for. 

Neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons are the two types of surgeons that are qualified to do back surgery. Both types of surgeons are qualified to operate on the spine, although neurosurgeons are better suited for tumor procedures, while orthopedic surgeons are frequently called upon to correct abnormalities surgically.

Have a Consultation Before Making a Decision

Once you have narrowed down your selection of surgeons, it's essential to set up an appointment. However, today's doctors place far too much emphasis on MRI scans and far too little on the patient. Patients should find a doctor who will pay attention to their concerns and symptoms. MRI scans do not always reveal the source of pain. Therefore back specialists must conduct extensive interviews with their patients to arrive at the most precise diagnosis. Get a free MRI review.

The purpose of a consultation, which is an essential aspect of any surgical operation, is to determine whether the patient is healthy enough to undergo surgery and whether the advantages of the procedure exceed the risks. It also entails monitoring the patient's recovery and progress following the treatment. Furthermore, it involves ensuring that no issues arise or, if they do, that they are controlled and addressed as quickly as possible.

Depending on the severity of your back injury, make appointments with at least two doctors to explore your surgery alternatives.

Look For Independent and Patients  Reviews

People look for information on doctors, dentists, and medical services on the internet––in fact, 74.6 percent of people have done so. Online reviews aid in the development of trust and demonstrate to potential patients why they should choose a certain surgeon over others.

People are more confident in picking a healthcare professional with a proven track record and who has been recommended by others with similar needs.

When potential patients read favorable and thorough reviews that appear genuine, they're more inclined to choose the services over another provider with fewer or poor ratings.

Cure your back and neck pain once and for all.

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About Deuk Spine Institute
World leader in Laser Spine Surgery
With world-class physicians on staff, the newest and most advanced technology, and a patient experience pathway that is unrivaled in it’s efficiency and and pedagogy of care, Deuk Spine Institute has performed thousands of procedures and achieves a 95% success rate in elimination of pain.

 The services we offer are not offered anywhere else in the world, and the treatments are curative, not palliative.  On top of that, Dr. Deukmedjian is personally invested in the well-being of each and every patient, and has spared no expense to guarantee the best possible outcomes.
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