Christopher A. Heck, M.D.
Dr. Heck joined Southlake Orthopaedics in January 2018. Prior to joining our team, Dr. Heck practiced orthopaedics in Montgomery, Alabama for the last 10 years specializing in spine surgery. Dr. Heck always thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon. Instead, he quickly learned in medical school he had a strong love for physics and orthopaedics became the surgical field he would choose. Dr. Heck is from Mobile, Alabama.
He graduated from Medical School at the University of South Alabama in Mobile and completed a General Surgery Internship and Orthopaedic Surgery Residency at the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine in Lexington, Kentucky. Dr. Heck then went to Duke University for his Spine Fellowship. In addition to his busy spine surgery practice, Dr. Heck is also an instructor for NuVasive. He teaches XLIF, a minimally invasive spine surgery to colleagues across the Country.
Dr. Heck and his wife, Susan, have two children. When Dr. Heck is not in surgery, he enjoys spending time with his family, hunting and traveling. He is also a car enthusiast.
Training & Education
University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 2001
University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington Kentucky 2002
Orthopaedic Surgery Residency
University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington Kentucky 2006
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 2007
About Dr. Chris Heck
Why did you choose orthopaedics?
Initially, I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps and become a cardiothoracic surgeon. I grew up witnessing the appreciation by patients and their families for his efforts. However, during medical school, I realized that was not the career path for me. Having been intrigued by physics in college, orthopaedics, as another surgical field, attracted me as it utilized the effect of physics to mend the body.
What makes you feel successful as a physician?
My success as a physician comes from the smiles of patients who, despite still hurting from surgical pain, thank my team for making their lives better. There isn’t a more gratifying feeling from any job I can imagine.
What is the most complicated or memorable case you’ve handled?
One of my most memorable cases was a two level cervical disc replacement in a 22 year old man. The reason for this significance is this was my first cervical disc replacement and the first at my previous hospital in Montgomery, Alabama. This young man suffered a two level disc herniation as a result of a car accident. After failing to improve with non-operative options, his surgery left him pain free and eager to get back to work. He was so excited to have had this new technology (as opposed to a neck fusion surgery) and to have been the first patient in the city to undergo this surgery; he asked to observe me doing the same surgery months later in anticipation of pursuing a medical career. He was always eager to view his X-rays during follow up visits. Those were enjoyable moments.
Why did you choose Southlake Orthopaedics to establish your practice?
I chose Southlake Orthopaedics to grow my practice because of the multi-specialty nature of the practice. As a team of physicians, we complement each other with our in-depth knowledge of each body part so patients have an appropriate diagnosis and the best available treatment. After a 10 year career practicing orthopaedics in Montgomery, Alabama, I want to expand my services offering minimally invasive and spinal reconstruction options to patients within the greater Birmingham area.