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Thread: Is it necessary to have a surgeon with Neurological Experience?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Is it necessary to have a surgeon with Neurological Experience?


    I just found a surgeon near me that has studied neurology along with orthopedics and he does work on adult scoli patients. His name is Dr. Nitan Bhatia MD and he is with UCI Orthopedic surgery in Orange, Ca. He has a lot of experience, training, awards and is active in researching spine repair. He is on the SRS list as well as the CSRS list. I am scheduled to have surgery with Dr. Bederman but to my knowledge he does not have neurological training. I really wanted a surgeon with both as I have nerve pain, sciatica and severe nerve impingement. I am wondering what people think. Is it necessary to have an orthopedic surgeon with neurological experience or will just a scoli spine orthopedic be ok?


    Leanne J

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Unless you have a specific brain or spinal cord related disorder like a Chiari, Tethered cord, Tumor, etc....there probably isn't going to be a need to have a neurosurgeon on standby. This would be a good question for Dr Bederman, if he is leading the team, he selects who is in the operating room. Unless there is a need or emergency, it would seem logical that insurance companies would balk at paying to have another specialist in the operating room when it isn't necessary.

    I don't remember reading about any "adult" posters here having "both" scoliosis surgeons and neurologists operating from the initial get go....

    Your question has been asked here before.....using search usually requires a few tries.

    its good that you are reading and posting....

    It might not be a bad idea to read David Wolpert's book on scoliosis surgery. Its sold here through NSF.

    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion

    My x-rays

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Is it necessary to have a surgeon with Neurological Experience?

    Hi Ed,

    It's just one orthopedic surgeon I found that has studied both neurology and scoliosis so there would not be 3 doctors in the room. Just a cardio Dr if he deems it necessary. He has multiple awards,does lectures & scientific journals has been working on spinal correction research programs and has been named one of the top Scoli surgeons in Orange County. He is the director and chief of spinal surgery at UCI in Orange, Ca. He has a vast network of different types of doctors that would be at his beck and call should complications arise and UCI Hospital is top notch. I was able to get an appt with him for this Thursday. I just feel like I want one more perspective from someone that excels in both disciplines. So I am going to see what he has to say. Can't hurt and maybe he will give me some information that satisfies the couple of things that worried me about Dr Bederman's approach. I'll let you know how it goes.

    I took your advice and went book shopping. However, the edition I saw for the book you recommended was re-published in 2005 and I wanted something a little more contemporary. I also I wanted something to load on my knook. I will see how helpful it is and if it not so great I will re-visit buying David Wolpert's book.

    I'll try harder on my searches. Thanks for your patience and gotta say I love your sense of humor. I need to get out of the terrified stage and get to where you are at - accepting and making the best of your "new normal" so that I too can see the humor, hope, positivity and believe that I will have the best outcome possible. Somehow I need to get an attitude adjustment. Maybe the book will help. It looks deep, optimist and the writer makes the best of her "new normal" with faith, grace, courage and gratitude. I am also going to a class about what to expect when facing spinal surgery sponsored by St Jo's. That should help get my technical questions answered and I will get to interact with other people having the same surgery. It should be good for all of us as we get a slide program, handouts and a question and answer session.


    Leanne J

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Hi Leanne...

    Most adults who have scoliosis surgery have nerve involvement, so I personally wouldn't focus so much on that. All orthopaedic surgeons, especially spine surgeons, study neurology. It's going to be pretty difficult to find a surgeon who is board certified in both neurology and orthopaedics, as that would take somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 additional years of training after medical school to complete. Drs. Bhatia and Bederman are probably fairly similar in qualifications in terms of scoliosis surgery, although Dr. Bederman's fellowship focused on adult scoliosis surgery, and I believe Dr. Bhatia's training focused a little more on pediatric surgery. I would go with your gut, and choose the surgeon with whom you connect the best.

    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

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