Providing specialized orthopedic care at six convenient locations across Northeast Wisconsin. Click to find a location near you.
(920) 560-1000
Our Facility Patient Experience Patient Testimonials News & Blog

What Is a Spine Specialist?

Whether having a long-term condition or seeking something like robotic joint replacements, Fox Valley residents might benefit from a spine specialist. A spine specialist is who you want to see if you are having problems and health issues that are stemming from your spinal cord. However, there are many different doctors who can specialize in different issues that are related to the spine. You want to know which doctor to target so that your problems can be quickly diagnosed, and a treatment plan can get started. In addition to finding the right kind of doctor for your spinal issues, you might need to find a team. For example, if you have a condition that impacts your spinal joints and nerves, you might need both an orthopedic doctor and a neurologist.


The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system, so it is not uncommon for spine specialists to also be neurologists. If your spine issue is long-term, a neurologist may be helpful because they are highly trained in the origins of pain. They will be able to focus on how the nerves could be causing pain and other issues to create a more targeted and comprehensive treatment plan.


A neurosurgeon and a neurologist are not the same thing, though both do focus on diseases that affect the central nervous system. A neurosurgeon is who will perform certain surgical procedures on the spine and they may be a last resort for patients with back pain who cannot be helped by other specialists.


This type of doctor focuses on physical rehabilitation for a large variety of conditions and injuries, including those that affect the spine and cause a variety of symptoms. They can help with more minor issues like the affects or poor posture, to more serious problems, such as scoliosis.


An orthopedic doctor works with issues that affect the musculoskeletal system. This type of doctor might be helpful if your spinal issues are causing problems with other joints, such as lumbar spine problems causing hip pain and discomfort.


A rheumatologist is a doctor who focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal problems and arthritis. Issues, such as spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, spinal arthritis and fibromyalgia, are all things that this type of doctor may work with. While rheumatologists are not spinal specialists per se, they can focus on issues that are related to the spine that fall under the practice of rheumatology.

You can see that picking the right specialist is important and that you may have some homework ahead of you.

If you would like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI), please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online.

If you would like to set up an appointment with one of our spine care partners, please contact either Neuroscience Group or NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin.

Neuroscience Group’s Dr. Juan Albino is at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI) every Wednesday. An interventional pain management specialist, his goal is the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of spinal, musculoskeletal, brain, and peripheral nervous system conditions that limit a person’s daily function. Personalized treatment plans consist of medications, conservative management, exercise programs and injections, along with multiple other interventional techniques.

NeuroSpine Center’s Dr. Cason Brown is at OSI every Friday. A board-certified physiatrist, Dr. Brown works with patients to accurately diagnose and effectively treat their pain, with special consideration for more conservative treatment measures such as physical therapy, medication, and steroid injections. He specializes in osteopathic medicine, which further emphasizes conservative approaches to medicine, and assisting the body to heal itself with osteopathic manipulative therapy when appropriate.

The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.

Additionally, OSI now offers a Walk-In Clinic at its Appleton location for new, acute orthopedic injuries.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.