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Dr. Brian Braaksma is a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon. Fellowship training is the highest level of medical education in the U.S. Dr. Braaksma earned his undergraduate degree in biological sciences at Texas Christian University in 2002 with Summa Cum Laude honors. He obtained his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2006. He completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery where he received clinical distinction honors in his clinical rotations. He completed a fellowship in spine surgery at New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York. He is Board-eligible by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Braaksma grew up on a farm in the rural Midwest, where he feels learning the values of hard work and dedication were instrumental to his ability to pursue and complete a medical education. He realized early on while in high school, a desire to become an orthopedic surgeon after observing surgeries with local physicians. During his medical education and orthopedic residency, Dr. Braaksma was most intrigued by the specialty of spine and decided to specialize in that niche. As a spine surgeon, he emphasizes non-surgical treatment options in advance of surgery, holding that as the last resort for patients. If surgery is necessary, Dr. Braaksma is trained in the latest minimally invasive spine surgery techniques that reduce the length of the incision, the time in the hospital and the time needed for recovery. Many patients can have their surgery in the morning and be home later the same day to recover in their own home. In addition to his extensive medical commitments, Dr. Braaksma is an avid golfer, and enjoys watching sports, playing drums and guitar, weightlifting, traveling and skiing. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife and his young son. After spending the last 10 years of his medical training in Chicago and New York, Dr. Braaksma enjoys the return to the Midwest and Rockford, Illinois, and the sense of community that he grew up in.