The field of orthopedic surgery is continually evolving, thanks to ongoing research and innovation from highly skilled physicians. One of these committed physicians is renowned surgeon Dr. Douglas Slaughter, who has an impressive medical career spanning 21 years. Dr. Slaughter’s dedication to developing and practicing state-of-the-art surgical techniques has led to countless successful procedures that have given patients back their quality of life and their hope for a healthy future.
At New Jersey Spine and Orthopedic Center (NJSO), we are committed to providing the highest level of health care treatments to patients with back, neck and spinal injuries. Because we place our patients’ health first, we’re always seeking ways to deliver on our promise. One of the ways we do this is by regularly adding to our team of professional physicians with unique and important specialties.
NJSO is happy to welcome Dr. Slaughter as the newest member of our practice, joining our team of six other physicians and specialists. On Jan. 31, NJSO officially announced the exciting news that Dr. Slaughter is bringing his expertise as an orthopedic surgeon to the team.
His specialization in minimally invasive techniques makes Dr. Slaughter such a vital team member. He also has a specialty in reconstructive surgery, which adds another layer of expert service to patients who come to NJSO for care. Dr. Slaughter focuses on treating patients who have suffered high-impact injuries or age-related conditions by performing precise procedures on bones, muscles and joints that will lead to the greatest chance of healthy recovery.
With this goal in mind, Dr. Slaughter has contributed to important research on developing ways of treating patients with the least invasive procedures possible. From his own experience in developing these techniques, he has been able to give back to the next generation of surgeons by teaching them these procedures as well.
Douglas Slaughter, MD, Biography
Dr. Douglas Slaughter was born on Nov. 28, 1964, in Cincinnati, Ohio. His dream of being a physician began at the age of 8.
During his years of military service in the U.S. Army Reserves, he was able to pursue his post-secondary education at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. By 1985, Dr. Douglas Slaughter graduated from Ohio State University with an undergraduate degree. His major was in mechanical engineering and biochemistry, a background that became useful in developing precise surgical procedures for spinal reconstruction.
Dr. Slaughter attended the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine to finally fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a trusted doctor to his future patients. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1994, Dr. Slaughter completed his internship at the Phoenix Orthopedic Residency Program in 1995. From there, Dr. Slaughter underwent his residency in orthopedic surgery at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., which he completed in 2000.
With a passion for orthopedic spinal surgery, Dr. Slaughter committed to furthering his expertise. At this point in his career, he was fortunate to find a mentor in Dr. Michael Neuwirth, one of the world’s top orthopedic spinal surgeons. Dr. Michael Neuwirth directed the fellowship program at the Beth Israel Institute for Spinal Health in New York City. It was here in 2001, working under the direction of Dr. Neuwirth, that Dr. Slaughter learned the importance of minimally invasive spinal surgical procedures for spinal reconstruction. Dr. Neuwirth professed the importance of advanced techniques that would reduce surgical risk, improve recovery times and give patients a higher quality of life. Dr. Slaughter continues to emulate this patient-focused philosophy throughout his career.
After gaining a valuable education in orthopedic expertise and honing his surgical skills, Dr. Slaughter returned to Phoenix, Ariz., to join the Sonoran Spine Center. Here, he further grew his passion for minimally invasive techniques. Ultimately, the time Dr. Slaughter spent at Sonoran Spine Center allowed him to develop critical procedures, which the Center still uses today. These procedures include spinal reconstructive surgeries and minimally invasive surgical techniques.
His innovative developments led Dr. Slaughter to become recognized as one of the nation’s leading spinal surgeons. As a pioneer, he went on to educate spinal surgeons and biomedical technology companies across the country on his methods of spinal surgeries. In these settings, he taught the minimally invasive spinal surgical procedures he developed. Across the Western and Southwestern United States, surgeons are learning Dr. Slaughter’s leading-edge spinal surgical procedures that improve patient health.
In 2010, Dr. Slaughter pursued another goal of creating his own spine-centered practice for patients, opening the Land of Enchantment Spine Surgery practice in Albuquerque, N.M. Here, Dr. Slaughter offered treatments that could address all forms of spinal conditions requiring surgery. From complex to minimally invasive procedures, Dr. Slaughter built a practice around creating a patient experience that delivered spinal surgery services in a thoughtful manner.
Dr. Slaughter went on to add an advanced surgical treatment called lumbar total disc replacement to his repertoire of services. This innovative procedure removes worn and damaged disc material and replaces it with a synthetic disc. This system relieves back pain from patients who are suffering, yet still provides them with normal mobility levels after the surgery.
Dr. Slaughter Spine Surgeon Specialties
Though orthopedic surgery itself is a specialized field, there are many more specialties within this line of medicine. In more than two decades of experience, Dr. Slaughter has honed certain areas of specialization that make him the reputable orthopedic surgeon he is today.
Specializing in minimally invasive orthopedic surgical methods, Dr. Slaughter focuses on reconstructive surgery for those struggling with spinal injuries. These patients often face ongoing medical conditions that affect their bones, joints and muscles — which are often due to high-impact accidents, activities or sports injuries. However, degenerative issues are also treatable using Dr. Slaughter’s techniques. Dr. Slaughter is proud to offer his methods to treat age-related conditions that affect spine health.
Dr. Slaughter specializes in treating five specific conditions:
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal fractures
- Degenerative spinal conditions
- Osteoarthritis in the hand and wrist
- Osteoarthritis in the hip and knee
In addition to these specialties, Dr. Slaughter’s experience and expertise have allowed him to treat 61 different medical conditions ranging from joint pain to broken necks. He’s also performed 18 different types of medical procedures, including reconstructive spinal surgery for deformities like adult scoliosis and endoscopic spinal surgery.
Dr. Slaughter practices each one of his surgical treatments under the philosophy of helping each patient decrease the symptoms they came to him with. Therefore, he tailors each surgical procedure toward the aspiration of helping the patient feel better each time.
Here are five of Dr. Slaughter’s specialties that use his minimally invasive surgical techniques:
- Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes pressure on your spinal cord due to a narrowing of the open spaces along your spine. It starts most often in the low back or neck. Because the pressure affects the nerves that enter and exit the spine, the condition can cause symptoms to travel down the arms and legs. Many people experience chronic pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness with spinal stenosis. There is a range of treatment options available to people suffering from spinal stenosis. Depending on how advanced your case of spinal stenosis is, Dr. Slaughter can perform a minimally invasive surgical technique called a laminoforaminotomy. This is a specially developed technique that creates a tiny hole without cutting through muscle. Approaching treatment in this way improves recovery time and prevents painful post-surgical soreness.
- Spinal Fractures
Spinal fractures can happen for many reasons. Often, fractures can be caused due to car collisions, falls or sports injuries. Spinal fractures also occur because of degenerative conditions that weaken bones, such as osteoporosis, which can lead to vertebrae fracturing from even a light impact. Though most fractures occur along the low back region, fractures can occur anywhere along the spine, from the thoracic to the lumbar sections. A fracture can pinch and compress the spinal cord and can even cause it to tear. Depending on the severity of the fracture, a patient may have difficulty walking or moving their arms and legs because of paralysis. Spinal fractures can be very painful and cause lifelong problems to a patient if improperly treated. Thankfully, new and progressive spinal surgery technologies can help treat spinal fractures better than ever. These surgical procedures can help repair and realign a fractured spine if necessary. Minimally invasive spinal surgery, like the procedures developed by Dr. Slaughter, can give patients a renewed quality of life.
- Degenerative Spinal Conditions:
Degenerative spinal conditions are caused by degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease is a condition that occurs in middle-aged and older patients as their spinal discs start to shrink and stiffen due to age. Spinal degeneration affects more than 3 million Americans annually. It can cause severe low back and neck problems due to the affected discs in cervical and lumbar regions of the spine. Spinal discs act as “shock absorbers” between each vertebra. They’re composed of a cartilage exterior and a gel interior. As a person ages, these discs begin to lose fluid, and their exterior becomes more brittle. If the discs degenerate enough, tiny cracks can form in the exterior, causing the interior gel substance to bulge out. This can lead to degenerative disc conditions like a herniated disc, bulging disc or osteoarthritis. Many patients experience chronic pain due to degenerative disc disease. Spinal specialists, like Dr. Slaughter, follow a conservative approach to treating this condition. However, sometimes surgery is required. In these cases, Dr. Slaughter treats his patients with a surgical procedure called an artificial disc replacement. This approach alleviates chronic pain, mitigates surgical risk and ensures his patients have a quick recovery so they can continue their regular, active lives.
- Hand and Wrist Osteoarthritis
Though Dr. Douglas Slaughter is a world-renowned spine surgeon, his valuable experience and innovative techniques are also beneficial for other orthopedic conditions like osteoarthritis in the hand and wrist. Hand and wrist osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the small joints in the hands and wrists. As a person ages, the cartilage between the joints wears away and no longer provides a cushioning effect. Loss of cartilage causes the bones to start to rub together, causing inflammation, pain and stiffness. In advanced cases, patients can even suffer painful bone spurs, which are an accumulation of hardened bone. Commonly, osteoarthritis affects the joints that connect the thumb and index fingers, as well as the fingertip and middle knuckle joints. When symptoms become severe enough, surgery may be needed. In this case, experts like Dr. Slaughter will perform procedures like joint reconstruction or joint fusing to improve mobility in the fingers and wrist.
- Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis can also occur in the hip and knee joints. When the cartilage between the joints of the hips and knees starts to wear away, it can cause these bones to grind together. This causes pain and stiffness in the hips and knees, which can worsen with movement. Osteoarthritis in the hip can cause pain in hips, low back and even legs. When osteoarthritis occurs in the hip, it can activate additional painful symptoms in other joints. This often makes it difficult for doctors to correctly diagnose the root cause of the arthritis pain. When hip osteoarthritis isn’t properly diagnosed, it can then be treated using inappropriate surgical techniques, which fail and cause problems to worsen.If you suffer from hip osteoarthritis, it’s vital to seek a second opinion from an experienced specialist like Dr. Slaughter. This will help ensure you get the right diagnosis and the best surgical treatment options possible. Additionally, Dr. Slaughter works with patients who have suffered failed hip surgeries. Let Dr. Slaughter help fix your condition and restore your quality of life.
Dr. Slaughter’s Contributions to Spine Research and Education
Dr. Slaughter’s impact in the medical community cannot be minimized. His contributions to spinal research and treatment development have pioneered a new way of surgical approaches and philosophies in the fields of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. His research has led Dr. Douglas Slaughter to become one of the leading spine surgeons in the United States.
Dr. Slaughter has given back both in his clinical research as well as in his teaching of the next generation of spine specialists. Some of the contributions Douglas Slaughter, MD, has made to spine research and education include:
- Medtronic: From 2003 to 2010, Dr. Slaughter taught minimally invasive surgery and deformity surgery at Medtronic, a global leader in biomedical technologies and treatment options. Dr. Slaughter’s work with Medtronic helped this company advance minimally invasive surgical innovations for improved patient welfare.
- SpineWave: From 2010 to 2013, Dr. Slaughter taught minimally invasive surgery at SpineWave, a technology company committed to developing high-quality surgical solutions. Dr. Slaughter helped the company and industry advance the way it treats spinal injury patients.
- CoreLink: Dr. Slaughter helped design and develop a spinal deformity treatment system for CoreLink, a world leader in developing innovative surgical instruments and implants. These technologies equip surgeons with the highest-quality tools to successfully treat patients with spinal injuries.
- U&i Spine: U&i Spine is a biomedical innovation company that produces artificial implants to use in surgical procedures for patients who have suffered spinal trauma or degeneration. Dr. Slaughter’s years of experience allowed him to help U&i Spine develop a posterior cervical fusion system for spine injury patients.
- Stryker: Stryker is a medical technology company specializing in innovative spinal implants. Dr. Slaughter helped Stryker with their commitment to leading-edge technology and design by helping teach vertebral column resection and deformity from 2011 to 2013.
All these contributions to spine research and technology development have helped advance the field of orthopedic surgery. Dr. Slaughter’s contributions have directly impacted the landscape of spinal surgery treatments and improved patient care.
Testimonials and Accolades
“Dr. Slaughter offers an invaluable level of orthopedic expertise to our team.” – Dr. Scott Katzman
Dr. Slaughter’s expertise and skills in orthopedic surgery and related fields have been endorsed by fellow specialists around the world. Surgeons, specialists and physicians have endorsed Dr. Slaughter’s skills, not only in orthopedic surgery but other medical skill sets, including:
- Clinical research
- Sports medicine
- Medical imaging and radiology
- Medical imaging and radiology
These skills place Dr. Slaughter at the top when it comes to leadership and innovation in the fields of orthopedic surgery. Additionally, surgeons who have worked alongside Dr. Slaughter have praised his technique, attention to detail and level of care. His colleagues admire Dr. Slaughter’s ability to conduct thorough and accurate lumbar examinations on patients.
This attentive level of care allows Dr. Slaughter to accurately diagnose a problem and apply the best possible treatment method, without pursuing any unnecessary procedures. His conservative approach to spinal surgery has been passed along to another generation of surgeons through his direct and indirect mentoring.
Treatment and Care Philosophy
Dr. Slaughter believes each patient should be empowered to take responsibility and control of their health. He wants to help patients better understand their condition by working as a team with their physician. Dr. Slaughter feels this approach is best, as it leads to the highest possible levels of success and satisfaction in the results of all treatments.
Additionally, Dr. Slaughter believes surgical procedures should only be undergone when it is necessary, and when the improvements will far outweigh any downsides. Conservative views of medicine follow this approach, which prevents unnecessary risks during surgery. By accurately diagnosing the spinal problem to begin with, surgeons like Dr. Slaughter can ensure their patients fully recover and return to their normal lives.
Request a Consultation at NJ Spine and Orthopedic
New Jersey Spine and Orthopedic prides itself on hiring the top surgical specialists in the country to serve our patients. We believe in delivering minimally invasive spine surgeries that reduce the risk of long-term pain or discomfort. Minimally invasive approaches to spinal surgery ensure patients make a healthy recovery that eliminates chronic neck and back conditions and enhances their quality of life.
Our team of award-winning doctors and medical staff is committed to ensuring successful treatments for all patients. By using the least invasive techniques supported by the most state-of-the-art equipment, patients at NJSO can return to their normal activities much sooner.
If you’re in search of a physician who will work hard to make sure you undergo the least invasive surgical treatment method possible, contact NJSO today. We’re here to help you book an appointment with one of our talented and experienced doctors, including Drs. Katzman, Schiebert, Alario, and Slaughter.
We are proud to offer our patients the convenience of multiple locations in three states. Here are our locations so you can make an appointment at the clinic nearest you:
New Jersey Locations:
- Palm Beach Gardens Office
- Advanced Ambulatory Spine Center, Altamonte Springs
- Altamonte Springs Office
- Fort Pierce Office
- Hollywood Office
- Orlando Office
New York Location:
Request a consultation today with Dr. Slaughter or any of our other physicians.