Getting to Know the Role of the Spine Specialist Orthopedic Doctor

Spine specialist orthopedic doctor is a doctor who has special expertise to treat health problems in the spine, either with surgery or without surgery.

Prior to obtaining a spine specialist subspecialty degree, a general practitioner must complete an orthopedic specialist education program in order to obtain a Sp.OT degree. After that, he continued his studies by studying the spine to get a Sp.OT(K) degree.

Medical Conditions A Spine Specialist Orthopedic Doctor Can Treat

Orthopedic spine specialists have in-depth knowledge of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the spine. This sub-specialist doctor can treat patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly (elderly).

Medical conditions that an orthopedic spine specialist may treat include:

  • Sciatica or lower back pain
  • Spinal injury or fracture
  • spinal tumor
  • spinal infection
  • Hernia nucleus pulposus (HNP)
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Osteoarthritis of the spine
  • Scoliosis
  • Lordosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Vertebral hemangioma

Actions Performed by Spine Orthopedic Doctors

Orthopedic spine specialists are trained to perform various medical procedures to treat health problems related to the spine and the area around it, whether surgical or non-surgical.

Before taking medical action, the spine specialist orthopedic doctor will first perform a physical examination and supporting tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as X-rays, BMD, CT scans and MRIs. Later, treatment will be adjusted according to the results of this examination.

Examples of non-surgical measures that an orthopedic spine specialist can provide include medication, exercise advice, and referrals for physiotherapy.

Meanwhile, surgical procedures that can be performed by orthopedic spine specialists include:

1. Minimally invasive surgery

This surgery does not require large incisions and does not injure much of the tissue around the spine, resulting in a lower risk of complications and a shorter recovery period.

Examples of diseases that can be treated with minimally invasive surgery are HNP, small spinal tumors, and kyphosis.

2. Open surgery

In this operation, a large incision is needed to reach the problem area. Examples of diseases that require open surgery are osteoarthritis, large spinal tumors, and spinal fractures.

3. Total spinal disc replacement

This operation is performed to completely replace the damaged spinal disc with an artificial disc.

The Right Time to Meet an Orthopedic Spine Specialist

Having problems with the spine can certainly interfere with daily activities. Therefore, you are advised to immediately consult a spine specialist orthopedic doctor if you experience complaints in the form of:

  • Pain like stabbing or burning in the neck, back, and lower back
  • Pain radiating to the feet or hands
  • Unable to hold urination or defecation
  • Loss of balance when walking
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Weakness or paralysis in any part of the body
  • Loss of ability to feel heat, cold, and touch
  • Body leaning to one side or one shoulder higher

You are also advised to consult a spine specialist orthopedic doctor when you get a blow or impact on the spine, for example due to an accident while driving, falling from a height, or hitting a hard object while exercising.

Before seeing an orthopedic spine specialist, write down all the symptoms and complaints you feel. Also note what activities aggravate and relieve the complaint, or if any, the initial event that caused the complaint.

Don't forget to also record your complete medical history, including medication history, past medical history, and family history. Telling this will make it easier for the doctor to diagnose the disease you are experiencing

If you are confused about choosing a spine specialist orthopedic doctor, you can seek information from relatives who have used the services of this doctor, or to your general practitioner or orthopedic doctor. In addition, you also need to find out about the costs required.