Best Spine Surgeons

Unfortunately the process of finding a spine surgeon is still fairly archaic. Because there is no real data base on who is a good spine surgeon or who isn’t, you are going to have to trust that your physician is referring you to the best spine surgeon possible.
Seeing as medicine is a business just like anything else, a lot of the referrals are based on business tie-ins. A lot of professionals in the medical business don’t really have any way of telling who is a good surgeon or not. Most times they refer to the people that are inside their system without having a lot of data to go off of.
there are some good questions you can ask them at the time of the interview. These questions are taken directly from an interview that I read on spine-health’s website.
What their experience is in spine surgery, the number of cases they do, does it make up a large part of their practice or just a small part of their practice and they do a lot of general orthopedic or other types of cases. Another important thing, especially if you are considering a fusion, is fellowship training. Fusion surgery is difficult enough and it seems that people who do fellowships in it have lower complication rates. Paul McAfee out of Baltimore wrote a good article a number of years ago about especially with inter-body fusions a fellowship-trained spine surgeon had four times less complications than a non-fellowship-trained surgeon.
Let’s take a look at a few spine surgeons I have read good things about.
Dr. James St. Louis
• 2007 Distinguished physician, Florida Medical Association
• Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery
• Diplomat American Academy of Neurologic and Orthopaedic Surgeons
• Fellow International College of Surgeons
• Fellow American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons
2005 Physician of the Year for Orthopaedic Surgery American Association of Physician Specialists.
A Native of Niagara, Wisconsin, Dr. James St. Louis received his bachelor of science with Sigma Zeta honors from The University of Wisconsin La Crosse. This was followed by a Masters of Science degree. He was then named Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Research Coordinator. Dr. St. Louis was involved with the National Lopressor Intervention Trial at Brooke Army Medical Center. His many accomplishments include the publication of an article entitled ‘Exercise Prescription for Cardiac Patients’.
In 1983, Dr. St. Louis started medical school at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Mo., during which time he received the Student Doctor Award for his publication entitled ‘Exercise Prescription for Cardiac Patients’. Medical school was followed by the completion of internship and residency. During this training he presented papers on metastatic tumors of the spine and published ‘Orthopaedic Manifestation of Hyperlipidemia.
He then began a distinguished career as an Orthopaedic Surgeon, developing and owning the Pensacola Clinic, Bone and Joint Center and the Alabama clinic, Bone and Joint Center. At that time, Dr. St. Louis was also appointed as Medical Director of Health South and was Chief of Surgery at Woodlawn Medical Center in Cullman, Alabama.
After completing further work on the development of minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr St. Louis started the spine surgery department at the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa, Florida.
Peter F. Ullrich, Jr., MD
Institution: NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin
Specialty: Orthopedic Surgeon
Information: Fellowship trained spine surgeon whose practice is limited to the care of patients with spinal disorders. Care is delivered within the framework of a comprehensive, integrated spine center.
Professional Affiliations: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
North American Spine Society
Certifications: Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery, 1997
Professional Distinctions: Spine Fellowship, University of Utah 1994-1995
Medical Director, Spine-health.com
Medical Director, NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin