How to Find the Best Orthopedic Surgeons in Columbus, Ohio

There are hundreds of orthopedic surgeons in the Columbus area. Finding the right one for your condition feels hard.

At Best Practice Health, we know how difficult (and important) it is to do your homework while choosing your doctor. So, we did it for you! By certifying orthopedic surgeons for their education, training, and practices — right down to the robot they use — we list the best orthopedic surgeons for the procedure you need.

In this article, we’ll show you the Best Practice Certified doctors in the Columbus area for spine, knee and hip procedures. Once you have a list of the best, you’ll be ready to book an appointment with the surgeon of your choice. Before we review the surgeons, let’s start with facilities.

Best Surgical Facilities in Columbus

Where a surgeon works can be almost equally important to who the surgeon is.

The best information we have for Columbus hospitals is for joint replacement. There are three main hospitals where hip and knee replacement are performed in Columbus. None are safer than average for complications. Ohio State has the highest patient satisfaction of the three. Interestingly, Riverside does the most joint replacements, and has the lowest satisfaction.

Don’t be depressed by these facilities. The best place to have a total hip replacement these days in not in a hospital, anyway. With minimally invasive approaches and robotic assistance joint replacements can now be done in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC). Having surgery in an ASC eliminates your risk of hospital errors and hospital acquired staph infections. Not to mention you get to go home the same day!

Best Practice Health Standards for Orthopedic Surgeons

Orthopedic surgery is a broad field, so which surgeon is best for you may depend on what condition you need to treat. Regardless of which procedure you need, however, always look for a surgeon that is not only board certified, but also fellowship trained. We also recommend choosing a surgeon that operates out of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) whenever possible.

Best Hip Surgeons in Columbus

Hip pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks is usually due to arthritis or a tear in the soft tissue gasket (labrum) that hold the ball of hip in its socket.

Total hip replacement is the definitive treatment for hip pain due to severe arthritis that fails physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain injections when appropriate.

If this sounds like you, then it’s probably time to consider hip replacement surgery. Total hip replacement is a common procedure that has seen major technological advances in recent years.

Surgeons have started to move on from the legacy posterior approach to new, minimally invasive approaches that reduce muscle damage and make for a better recovery. New technology for robotic assistance has also entered the operating room.

These innovations in hip replacement surgery have made the entire process more comfortable for patients. When they have a surgeon who uses them, that is.

Another important aspect of hip replacement is the volume of surgeries the doctor does. Doctors who perform more surgeries generally have fewer errors. After all, practice makes perfect!

We only certify orthopedic surgeons for hip replacement if they meet ALL the following criteria:

  • Board certified orthopedic surgeon.
  • Fellowship trained in joint replacement.
  • Perform a high volume of total hip replacements (>50 per year).
  • Use registry proven implants that are not likely to be recalled.
  • Have a robotic assistant, and
  • Use a minimally invasive approach (anterior, direct superior or superPATH) so they can operate out of an ambulatory surgery center.

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Labral tears in the hip today should be repaired using an arthroscopic approach. This procedure is not performed well by most orthopedic surgeons. Best Practice Health does not presently certify orthopedic surgeons for arthroscopic labral tear repair. If you have a labral tear, call around and find an orthopedic surgeon who does more than 50 operations of this type a year. Feel free to ask orthopedic surgeons who do not do this procedure who they would recommend.

Best Spine Doctors in Columbus

Spine problems have a wider range of causes and treatments. So, it’s not a surprise that spine different types of doctors (orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, physiatrists, neurologists, sports medicine specialists, chiropractors) may need to be involved for the best care. For surgical procedures you can divide these doctors into two groups: Pain management, or spine surgeons. You know which type of doctor you need by the procedures they perform.

Spine Surgeons

Best Practice certified spine surgeons who are either a board certified neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon who completed a spine fellowship. The best spine surgeons use minimally invasive approaches. We will discuss the features of surgeons you should look for by procedure below.

The definitive treatment for Spinal stenosis is laminectomy surgery done by a neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon. The preferred minimally invasive form of this operation uses a specialized retractor, such as the Medtronic Metrx Tubular Retractor system. We confirm the doctor uses this equipment. If they’re not on our list, try again.

Herniated discs require a tag team. Start out with epidural injection by a pain management doctor who is double board certified in anesthesia or physiatry, and pain. The spine surgeon should use minimally invasive surgical technique such as a microscope or endoscope for visualization on all procedures.

Spinal fusion for spondylolisthesis or instability in the low back is best done by a neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon who offers a minimally invasive approach and image guidance for placement of pedicle screws in the low back. The image guidance can come from an O-arm or robot. In the neck anterior cervical discectomy and fusion for cervical radiculopathy and neck pain can be done well by any competent spine surgeon

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Pain Management Physicians

Pain management physicians should be board certified in either anesthesia or physiatry, double board certified and fellowship trained in pain, and do not over-prescribe chronic narcotics for pain management. Pain management physicians are typically the best doctors for radiofrequency ablation, epidural injection, and spinal cord stimulators.

Low back pain due to arthritis should be treated with radiofrequency ablation.

Nerve root pain due to a herniated disc usually gets better on its own. However, the healing process takes 8-12 weeks, and the pain can be temporarily controlled with epidural injection.

Chronic back or nerve root pain that has failed other treatments can sometimes be reduced with spinal cord stimulation.

Best Practice Health does not currently certify pain management doctors. Use the criteria above find the best ones in your area.

Best Knee Surgeons in Columbus

Knee pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks is usually due to arthritis, a tear in a meniscus or anterior cruciate ligament, or a disorder of the kneecap (patella).

Knee Replacement Surgeons

The definitive treatment for severe arthritis is partial or total knee replacement. With any joint replacement, you want a board certified, fellowship trained surgeon who performs a high volume of knee replacements.

Advances in the surgical approach and use of robotics have made the recovery process significantly better for patients after knee replacement. Look for a surgeon who uses a quadriceps muscle sparing approach. This minimally invasive approach shortens your recovery and dramatically reduce the pain after surgery. To get the best range of motion after surgery and reduce the risk of complications you also want a surgeon who uses a robotic assistant to determine the ideal size and shape of the implant for your body.

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For those with meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament tears the best surgical treatment is an arthroscopic approach. This type of surgery requires extra training that orthopedic surgeons obtain in a Sports Medicine fellowship. Best Practice Health does not yet certify sports medicine orthopedists, but you can find a list of the board certified ones here: AAOS. Set the method of search to “Choose a specialty,” and set the specialty to “Sports Medicine.