Dr. Nelson Saldua, MD

Orthopedic Spine Surgery  |  
Male  |  
Age 43
Insurances AcceptedSave
Dr. Nelson Saldua, MD
Dr. Nelson Saldua is an orthopedic surgeon with sub-specialty training in spine surgery. He grew up in Los Angeles and attended the University of California Los Angeles for his undergraduate studies. He joined the United States Navy and completed medical school at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Saldua served for 14 years in the United States Navy with duty stations that included General Medical Officer onboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) and Orthopedic Surgery Department Head of the NATO Multinational Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan. He completed a combined neurologic and orthopedic spine surgery fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining The Vancouver Clinic, he was an attending spine surgeon at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Dr. Saldua has authored several publications and book chapters on orthopedic surgery and spinal surgery. Dr. Saldua believes that honesty and communication are essential to the doctor-patient relationship. Surgery on the neck or back is a serious consideration and surgery should only be entertained after a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits of surgery. In this way, he believes that surgery can result in reliable and predictable clinical outcomes. Dr. Saldua is a father of 4 (including twin toddler girls), so his spare time involves anything that includes his wife and children. The entire family is excited about joining The Vancouver Clinic and the Vancouver community.

700 NE 87th Ave

Vancouver, WA 98664

Contact Information

(360) 882-2778

Dr. Nelson Saldua, MD

Dr. Nelson Saldua, MD

Accepted insurance

  • Providence Health Plans
  • Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Regence Blue Shield of Washington
  • Tricare
  • UnitedHealthCare

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Learn about Dr. Saldua

Be confident in your decisions by checking out your provider's top areas of care, education, patient reviews and more. Learn about finding the right doctor for you

Top Care Areas


See how frequently Dr. Saldua performs your care needs compared to other doctors.

Spine Disorders
more than 36% of peers
Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
more than 32% of peers
Joint Pain
more than 29% of peers

Dr. Saldua's percentages are based on the rate of treatment compared to peers nationwide from insurance data. Learn more info about our data and this Top Care Areas component.

We're trying something new with Top Care Areas.Was it helpful for you?YesNo

Care Philosophy

This content was provided by Dr. Saldua "Dr. Saldua believes that honesty and communication are essential to the doctor-patient relationship. Surgery on the neck or back is a serious consideration and surgery should only be entertained after a thorough discussion of the risks and benefits of surgery. In this way, he believes that surgery can result in reliable and predictable clinical outcomes."


Read More


  • Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery

Board Certifications

  • Orthopedic Surgery
    Accredited by: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery*

Conditions Treated

  • Arthritis of the Elbow
  • Back Pain
  • Bone Disorders
  • Cervical Radiculopathy
  • Cervical Spine Myelopathy
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Difficulty With Walking
  • Elbow Injuries
  • Foot Conditions
  • Gout
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Joint Pain
  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Radiculopathy
  • Myelopathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoarthritis of Ankle and Foot
  • Osteoarthritis of Shoulder
  • Osteoarthritis of Spine
  • Peripheral Nerve Disorders
  • Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Shoulder Disorders
  • Spinal Instability
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Deformities
  • Spine Disorders
  • Spondylolisthesis


  • Anterior Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery With Fusion
  • Anterior Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery With Plating and Fusion
  • Artificial Disc Replacement
  • Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
  • Cervical Disc Replacement
  • Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Cervical Spine Surgery
  • Complex Spine Surgery
  • Disc Replacement
  • Dural Repair or Other Spinal Cord Repair
  • Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Hip Replacement
  • Image-Guided Spine Surgery
  • Kyphosis Surgery
  • Lamina Procedures (incl. Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, Laminotomy)
  • Laminectomy
  • Lower Spine Surgery
  • Lumbar Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Lumbar Laminectomy
  • Lumbar Spine Surgery
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Microsurgical Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Neuroplasty
  • Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  • Posterior Cervical Laminectomy
  • Separated Femoral Epiphysis Treatment
  • Spinal Discectomy
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Internal Fixation
  • Spinal Reconstruction
  • Spinal Tumor Surgery
  • Spine Surgery
  • Total Disc Replacement


Read More

Background Check

Malpractice Claims not available

Healthgrades does not collect malpractice information for Washington.

0 Sanctions

No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

0 Board Actions

No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.


  • University Of California At Los Angeles
    Undergraduate School | Graduated 1997
  • Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences
    Medical School | Graduated 2002
  • Naval Medical Center San Diego
    Internship Hospital | Completed 2003
  • Naval Medical Center San Diego
    Residency Hospital | Completed 2009
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
    Fellowship Hospital | Completed 2010

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Honors
  • Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications

Dr. Saldua has no media or publications listed.

Languages Spoken

  • English

Memberships & Professional Affiliations

Dr. Saldua does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Saldua and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.

Dr. Saldua's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Saldua to family and friends
based on 43 total reviews (32 with comments)
Dr. Saldua's Performance
  • Trustworthiness
  • Explains condition(s) well
  • Answers Questions
  • Time well spent
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
  • Office environment
  • Staff friendliness
  • Average wait time
    Under 10 minutes
Patient Comments (32)
in Vancouver Washington |
Extremely instructive. Clear and concise.
Vancouver, WA |
Very much appreciated the time he took to listen and understand my situation and I felt he had heard my needs that few had taken time to hear. He fully included me in care plan making sure I was fully informed. No arbitrary decisions on my behalf.
Vancouver, WA |
Very friendly, professional, patient, knowledgeable, and caring physician who reviews all the benefits, as well as the risk associated with the proposed treatment modality.
Vancouver, WA |
I didn't give five stars because I haven't had surgery yet. However, I was very impressed by his knowledge and ability to share it with me so I could fully understand the procedure. My questions were welcomed, and I didn't feel rushed. I feel confident that Dr. Saldua is a good choice for this procedure. His actions show he truly cares for his patients. I was very impressed.
in Vancouver, WA |
Dr.Saluda is the best surgeon I have ever seen, he has a easy going explainable way about him, he also uses visual programs to enhance the learning experience of the ailment , I would highly recommend him to everyone I know! Cathie Beseda
in Vancouver, WA |
Dr. Saldua is an excellent physician and skilled surgeon. The results from my spine surgery have far exceeded the outcome I expected, and I fully believe that this is solely attributable to Dr. Saldua's excellent care.
in Vancouver, WA |
I had a mircodiscectomy of the L5-S1 performed by Dr. Saldua and I am incredibly happy with the results. My recovery has been a breeze and without complications. I previously had the same procedure at a different level by another surgeon and while it went well, my experience was not as sterling. I am no longer in pain and have been able to return to my regular, active self. Dr. Saldua was always very professional and listened to what you had to say and was genuinely interested in my well-being.
in Vancouver, WA |
I saw Dr. Saldua for a herniated disk at L3-L4--there was pressure on my spinal cord and nerve roots causing excruciating pain down my left leg--I couldn't walk or do anything really. After talking with Dr. Saldua, it was decided that surgery was the best option. He did an amazing job and was very clear with me on what to expect in surgery and recovery. I was able to walk right away and resume my regular activities within two weeks. I highly recommend him!!
in Vancouver, WA |
I saw Dr. Saldua for an acute back injury that resulted in severe sciatic nerve pain. I found him to be professional, knowledgeable, thorough and easy to talk to. He did an excellent job of explaining what my injury was and what my treatment options were. I felt I was able to make an informed decision that was best for me. I had an immediate and excellent result from surgery. His assistant Dave was awesome.
in Vancouver, WA |
I am now 5 months post op from a diskectomy L4 L5. I am glad I had the surgery. My experience with Dr Saldua was out of this world! He was extremely professional and compassionate. I listen to his advice and walked as much as I could every day. It sure made a difference, as I did not have to do physical therapy. I went from not being able to move (due to the pain) to run on a treadmill 7 weeks after surgery. Although I am not 100% back to my normal activities, I have no pain or tingling.
in Yacolt, WA |
I was injured my back in February. Up until then I had been very active. The injury reduced me to using crutches to move any distance, and no ability to do any activity . I was avoiding going anywhere where I needed to walk or sit. Sleep was difficult and I was using a lot of pain medicine. I was referred to Dr. Saldua and we cam to the consensus I needed surgery between my L4-L5. The surgery was in the end of April. I am 7 weeks out and starting to forget it ever happened. I have no pain !
in Vancouver |
Dr Saldua is professional and incredibly respectful. He has class and always has a great pair of shoes on =) I never felt pressured into the surgery, he gave me 3 different options. This man actually cares about me/you! I felt like I was his one and only patient. Dr. Saldua clearly is very talented but in more than just his surgeries. I highly recommend him!
Dr. Saldua doesn't talk down to you, he takes the time to explain your diagnosis & lets you ask questions. He explains everything in language you can understand. He is very caring & attentive.
in Vancouver, WA |
Dr,Saldua made situation clear with understandable solutions.
in Vancouver, WA |
Dr Saldua was very thorough in his explanation of what my condition was. He took all the time I needed to get a full understanding prior to the surgery. The surgery was very successful. He did a meticulous job on a complicated operation. My back is now pain free and I am very thankful for his expertise and skill.
in Ridgefield, Wa |
Dr. Saldua is an awesome surgeon. If it weren't for his steady hands I wouldn't be walking today. He is precise, and extremely good at what he does. But what mattered most to me is how sincerely caring he was. He truly wants to help and heal his patients. Highly recommend this surgeon. If I ever have to have another back surgery he's the one I'll choose.
in Vancouver, WA |
I went to Dr. Saldua with chronic lower back pain. My daily activities were becoming more and more limited. Dr. Saldua performed a discectomy of L-5, laminectomy of L-4 and L-5, and a fusion of L-4 and L-5. I experienced immediate relief from the chronic pain. I am 15 weeks post surgery - my activity level is steadily increasing. I can do things that I haven't done in months. Dr. Saldua is a talented surgeon and I greatly appreciate the change he's made in my life. I highly recommend Dr. Saldua.
in Vancouver, Washington |
When I was referred to Dr. Saldua, I was in so much pain that I could not walk or stand straight. I was in a wheelchair to get to his office. He had an MRI done on me and we discussed options about what should be done. He was very thorough and we decided on surgery. The appointment was made for me and then cancelled after some complications with my health. Dr. Saldua worked with my issues, finally I had my surgery. Now I am doing great. Walking again and enjoying getting back to my LIFE.
in Vancouver, WA |
I recently under went a L3-5 laminectomy and decompression. I went to Dr. Saldua on the recommendation of my primary care provider as I had seen her because of extreme pain in my lower back radiating down both legs. I was very apprehensive about having anything done because of stories I had heard and after all the surgery was working on my back and spinal nerves. Dr. Saldua was very thorough in his expalanation of the benefits of the surgery and possible risks. Post surgery I am pain free.
in Vancouver, WA |
Prior to surgery, my symptoms consisted of pain and numinous to my arms and left leg. Having had a MRI, which showed a compressed spinal cord, Dr. Saldua suggested Cervical Surgery. He explained the procedure ( I also googled it) in terms that I understood and I subsequently agreed to having it done. It's been just over 3 months and all prior symptoms are gone. Recovery will take a little more time but it was all worth it. Yes, I would highly recommend Dr. Saldua if you plan on surgery.
in Chula Vista, CA |
Dr. Saldua is a highly skilled Orthopedic Surgeon. He performed a Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF) on me. Prior to the surgery, I was suffering from chronic back pain due to spondylolisthesis and degenerative disc disease with had affected nerves in that area. Although he explained to me that the type of surgery I had - doesn't always work, my surgery was completely successful. Upon recovery, my back pain was significantly reduced. Dr. Saldua is very serious about his work. He's the best!
in Chula Vista, CA |
Dr. Saldua was very knowledgeable and caring doctor that he was able to convinced me to go on and have the surgery after explaining the pros and cons . I had a severe spinal stenosis at L4 and 5 and had been consulting with other doctors for months until I see him at NMCSD and finally decided on giving my full trust on him to perform the surgery.
in San Diego, CA |
Dr. Saldua was very professional and explained in detail the entire Mobi-C procedure as well as the possible fusion procedure to the C6/7 if he wasn't able to perform the mobi-c procedure due to my shoulder and neck size. I was nervous to be getting the procedure but Dr. Saluda and his team made me feel at ease. I'm happy I did the procedure & very satisfied with how well it went. Recovery has been gteat also. His attitude, & professionalism is what doctors and professionals should strive for.
in Corona, ca |
My first visit with Dr. Saldua was an eye opener,, meaning that he was up front and honest even though he knew that it wasn't the greatest of information that the surgery may or may not resolve all the symptom's. Of course as a person that was looking at spinal fusion of the L4-L5 it kind of through me off. I am almost 2 month post op and I could not be more happy with the results.
in San Diego, CA |
I had a bulging disc in my L5-S1 which left me with terrible pain throughout my leg as well as numbness. I was unable to sit down for any amount of time and was rarely comfortable. I had a left sided microdisectomy. I was relieved of pain almost immediately. I spent one day down, and was immediately up and walking after. I am two months post op now with zero pain and am beginning my normal activities. I have a very strenuous job in the military and have no doubt I'll be returning to work.
in San Diego, CA |
He is a very caring Doctor. He fully explained why and what the surgical procedure was. His follow-up was exceptional.
in Murrieta, CA |
Dr. Saldua performed an L5/S1 ALIF on me a year ago. Before my ALIF I had suffered from lower back pain continually for around 10 years with varying severity levels over that time. As an active duty Marine it took far to long for me to be referred up to Dr. Saldua but once I was, I found him to be a very effective surgeon who's main focus is fixing the problem. Before surgery I was in agony laying down, sitting or standing for long. After I have almost no pain laying down, reduced pain overall.
in Bremerton, WA |
Dr. Saldua is amazing. His genuine helpful attitude made the surgical procedure a lot less fearful for me as well as my wife. He and his staff made my wife feel as if she was part of the team. I feel that the surgery as well as the recovery was a success due to him and his staff.
in San Diego, CA |
My experience with Dr. Saldua has been nothing short of incredible, I was experiencing pain in my left leg to the point where it felt like from the knee down I was carrying around dead weight. The pain got to the point where it affected my performan on the last prt I took and I ended up rupturing my achilles in my left leg. Dr. Saldua performed my achilles repair and since then I have made continued strides in trying to get back to the shape I was previously in, I recommend Dr. Saldua above all.
in San Diego, CA |
Dr. Saldua performed surgery on my daughter's arm. He had to do it over the weekend. He and his surgical team were fantastic! We felt very informed at all times, and never had questions go unanswered. Dr. Saldua takes great time with his patients and was just wonderful!! My daughters arm healed beautifully!!
in Chula Vista, CA |
I had a great experience with DR Saldua! this was my second operation on my neck, and he did a great job. I had pins and needles on the right arm and a pinched nerve. I also had numbness in the right arm. the procedure helped all of that. I am back to doing regular things again. I have very little pain in my neck, and I can read more than I used to before the surgery.I would recommend going to him and talking about any concerns you might have about surgery. he listens and is very thorough.
in La Mesa, CA |
I was diagnosed with herniated disks and severe bilateral stenosis at C5-C6-C7 (MRI) in 2010. My symptoms were intermittent numbness/pins and needles in my right arm and chronic muscle spasms in my right middle back. Physical therapy was no longer effective. Dr. Saldua performed an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion (ACDF) in early Nov 2015. I walked out of the hospital the day after. My symptoms are 95% resolved. I could not be more pleased with my experience with Dr. Saldua.
Have you seen Dr. Nelson Saldua, MD?
Are you Dr. Saldua?
Make it easy for patients to share their feedback. Also manage your personalized profile!

Visit Dr. Saldua

Now Accepting New Patients
This provider offers the following appointment availability:
Same Day
Next Day
Dr. Saldua accepts 5 insurance carriers
  • Providence Health Plans
  • Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Regence Blue Shield of Washington
  • Tricare
  • UnitedHealthCare
    United Healthcare

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Hospitals where Dr. Saldua has admitting privileges

Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center
2211 NE 139th St
Vancouver, WA 98686
View Hospital Profile
Peacehealth Southwest Medical Center
400 NE Mother Joseph Pl
Vancouver, WA 98664
View Hospital Profile

View other doctors with similar experience to find the right doctor for you.

Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Pediatric Neurosurgery
Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgery
Orthopedic Hand Surgery
Orthopedic Surgery