Spine surgery is performed by doctors who have completed training in either neurosurgery or orthopedic surgery. To become a spine surgeon you must have a medical degree (8 years after high school); then complete a residency in either orthopedic surgery (5 years) or neurosurgery (6-7 years). Orthopedic surgeons who wish to specialize in spine surgery usually complete a spine fellowship following their residency, which is an additional 1 to 2 years of training. Neurosurgery residency provides adequate exposure to spine surgery, but some neurosurgeons choose to spend an additional year in spine fellowship.
So, including college, medical school, residency and fellowship it takes between 14 and 16 years of post high school education to become a spine surgeon.