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ABSS Information for Public

Certification by the American Board of Spine Surgery

A surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Spine Surgery is an orthopaedic or neurological surgeon whose subspecialty is in the field of spine surgery. An ABSS certified spine surgeon specializes in the restoration and preservation of spine function by managing disorders of the spine with both non-operative and complex surgical procedures of the spine, including but not limited to instrumentation, deformity correction and advanced minimally invasive techniques.

The certification process includes extensive education in the spine through the successful completion of a twelve-month approved spine fellowship program following residency training, or a combination of residency training and experience deemed by the ABSS to be equivalent to a spine fellowship program.

ABSS certified surgeons must first be board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, or equivalent. They must provide letters of recommendation from those in authority who can attest to their work and knowledge. Their credentials must then be verified and they must take and pass rigorous written and oral examinations.

Maintenance of Certification

Certification in spine surgery is limited to ten years, at which time ABSS certified spine surgeons must provide proof of participation in continuing education programs. Continuing education shows a commitment to maintaining current surgical standards, scientific knowledge and expertise. Spine Surgeons must also take and pass another rigorous written or oral examination.


Alex Ellis
American Board of Spine Surgery
1350 Broadway, Suite 800
New York, NY 10018

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