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Spine Feature

Image Source: Wikimeida Commons and Jaime de la Fuente

18 of the Best North American Spine Surgeons

Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. • Tue, September 9th, 2014

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When you want to know who the best is, you seek out the best. We decided to ask leading spine surgeons to select their peers who stand out.

Here is that list. It isn’t the be-all and end-all list—but a list of who are arguably the finest spine physicians, teachers, investigators or administrators in the country.

This information was obtained via a telephone survey of thought leaders in the field. No one at OTW names anyone to the list.

The information in quotes is what we heard about these surgeons.

In alphabetical order, then, here are the top 18 spine physicians in America.

StarTodd J. Albert, M.D.

Dr. Albert is surgeon-in-chief and medical director and Korein-Wilson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). He is chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and a professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is a past president of the Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS). “He is incredibly accomplished and is an honest leader who is now bringing his expertise to HSS. His research really stands out and his knowledge of the cervical spine has helped us make great strides in the field.”

StarNeel Anand, M.D., M.Ch.Ortho.

Dr. Anand is director of Spine Trauma at the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles and founder of the Anand Spine Group. “He has been the leading pioneer in the field of minimally invasive spinal deformity correction. He is helping to move this topic from enthusiasm without data to considered thought with comparable data to open techniques. He is particularly skilled, but is acknowledging the limitations of minimally invasive spinal deformity correction, which will only enhance his credibility.”

StarKeith H. Bridwell, M.D.

Dr. Bridwell is the J. Albert Key Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, and he is chief of Pediatric and Adult Spinal Surgery in the Orthopaedic Department at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a former president of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). “He is one of the forefathers of modern adult spinal deformity surgery. He has made extensive contributions to the understanding of the normal sagittal plane, modernized techniques of pelvic fixation and deformity corrections, and the role of biologics in decreasing the pseudoarthrosis rate in adult deformity surgery. His incredible contribution to the literature on adult deformity speaks for itself. He currently leads a landmark randomized trial on the treatment of adult deformity surgery that will have significant impact on the field.”

StarMichael G. Fehlings, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.R.C.S.C., Ph.D.

Dr. Fehllings is a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, and is the Krembil Chair in Neural Repair & Regeneration at the Toronto Western Hospital in Ontario. Dr. Fehlings is a former president of the CSRS. “He is a world-renowned leader in spinal cord injury and myelopathy research and has a prolific lab. He is currently the chairman of AOSpine North America. He has won numerous awards from spine societies for his research, and has garnered prestigious awards from the Canadian and British governments.”

StarAlan S. Hilibrand, M.D.

Dr. Hilibrand is a professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery, as well as the director of Medical Education for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Rothman Institute and Jefferson Medical College. “He has made significant contributions to the peer-reviewed literature and has trained numerous prominent spine surgeons. He is an amazing surgeon who is able to deal with complex spine surgeries, is prominent in numerous academic spine societies, and is extremely well-respected.”

StarLawrence J. Lenke, M.D.

Dr. Lenke is the Jerome J. Gilden Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and professor of Neurological Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis. He is also chief of Spinal Surgery and director of the Complex Spinal Deformity Institute and Fellowship at that institution. Dr. Lenke is a past president of the SRS. “He is a superb deformity surgeon and is often considered to be the best in the world. He has defined and changed the way we analyze and treat complex deformity through his research and teaching.”

StarSteven J. Lewis, M.D., M.Sc., FRCSC

Dr. Lewis is an orthopedic spine surgeon at the Toronto Western Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children. He is also an assistant professor of Neurosurgery at the University Health Network. “He is the most accomplished spinal deformity surgeon in all of Canada and has made many contributions to our field in the realm of complex pediatric and adult deformity surgery. He also is someone who thinks outside the box in developing unique and novel methods to treat difficult spinal problems.”

StarMichael F. O’Brien, M.D.

Dr. O'Brien is medical director of research at the Baylor Scoliosis Center. “He is a true master surgeon who is technically adept at treating all areas of the spinal column from the occiput to the sacrum-pelvis. He has an outstanding reputation as a clear and logical thinker and as someone who can always be trusted to provide a truly masterful technical execution of the surgical plan.”

StarDavid W. Polly, M.D.

Dr. Polly is a professor and chief of Spine Surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota. He holds the James W. Ogilvie Chair. Dr. Polly is the vice president of the SRS. “He is a thought-leader and a very skilled spine surgeon who is able to handle all types of complex spine surgery. He is internationally renowned and highly active in numerous academic spine societies.”

StarK. Daniel Riew, M.D.

Dr. Riew is the Mildred B. Simon Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also a professor of neurological surgery, the chief of the Surgical Spine Center, and director of the Cervical Spine Institute. Dr. Riew is a former president of the CSRS. “A brilliant cervical spine surgeon, he has defined many of the techniques we are utilizing. He has lectured extensively nationally and internationally, improving the treatment of these disorders in other portions of the globe.”

StarRick C. Sasso, M.D.

Dr. Sasso is a founding member and president of Indiana Spine Group. He is also clinical associate professor and chief of Spine Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “He is innovative and ingenious, and he has designed important tools used by spine surgeons around the world. He has participated in many clinical trials to help define the best ways to approach patients with spinal disease.”

StarFrank J. Schwab, M.D.

Dr. Schwab is clinical professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. He is also chief of the Spinal Deformity Service at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. “He has worked tirelessly on the understanding of the normal spinal sagittal alignment. His work has had an incredible impact on the field, helping surgeons achieve appropriate alignment objectives for the patients. Besides being an excellent surgeon, researcher and administrator, Dr. Schwab is a renowned teacher with great integrity.”

StarChristopher I. Shaffrey, M.D.

Dr. Shaffrey is the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Virginia. He is also director of the Spine Division at that institution. “He is an internationally regarded spine surgeon. He has particular expertise in complex deformity surgery and is known for handling the tough cases."

StarJustin Smith, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Smith is associate professor of Neurological Surgery
and co-director of the University of Virginia Spine Center. He is also co-director of the Neurosurgery Spine Division. “He is one of the top young spinal researchers in the U.S. He is a prolific writer who is widely published and making an impact in spine. At the rate he is going, he is destined to become one of the top leaders in spine surgery in 5-10 years.”

StarVincent C. Traynelis, M.D.

Dr. Traynelis is director of the Neurosurgery Spine Service
and vice chairperson and professor at Rush University Medical Center. He is also the A. Watson Armour III & Sarah Armour Presidential Chair. Dr. Traynelis is a former president of the CSRS. “He is a neurosurgeon with keen interest in spinal disorders is an academic leader. A consummate teacher, he has trained a legion of spinal surgeons. Vince is a true gentleman and extremely well respected.”

StarAlexander R. Vaccaro, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Vaccaro is president of the Rothman Institute and chairman of Orthopaedics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. He also serves as co-director of the Spine Fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University and co-director of the Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley. “His work is unparalleled. He has a finely-tuned sense of what is needed in our field, and he succeeds in moving us forward through his research and leadership.”

StarJeffrey C. Wang, M.D.

Dr. Wang is chief of the orthopedic spine service at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Additionally, he is professor in the departments of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery. “He is a globally recognized spine surgeon who is on the boards of multiple spine societies including AOSpine, NASS and CSRS. He is currently the president of AOSpine International, the largest society for spine surgeons in the world. An outstanding speaker, teacher, researcher and surgeon.”

StarThomas A. Zdeblick, M.D.

Dr. Zdeblick is the chair of the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “He is an internationally renowned researcher, technically superb surgeon, enthusiastic teacher of a myriad of spine surgeons, and an ethically impeccable physician. He has left his indelible signature on our literature of spinal disorders.”

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126 Responses to “18 of the Best North American Spine Surgeons”

  1. Abduljabbar quraish says:

    Did any those doctors serving in Michigan

    • Bruce Cook says:

      Dr Sasso is in Indianapolis? He solved a back problem I had. 2 other Drs.treat with no success. I would recommend or use any physician in the Indian Spine Broup.

      They do have a few satellite offices in Northern Indiana.

  2. Connie says:

    Do any of the listed above work in any
    Hospital in the state. I am researching
    The best surgeon possible. Thanks.

  3. I want to know also if anyone of this Dr’s works in Denver Colorado.

  4. JLJ says:

    Who is considered top cervical spine orthopedic surgeon in Orlando FL, Tampa FL, Charlotte/Raleigh NC, Ashville NC areas ?

    • John Carmichael says:


      I am looking for the best spine surgeon in N.J. also. Hasve you come up with some names? Appreciate your help.

      John Carmichael

      • meredith says:

        Dr. Hillenbrand who is on this list is at rothman who have offices in NJ and PA. He did my spinal surgery and is very good

      • Margaret says:

        Dear John,

        Am in New Hampshire. If you have a name, I would really appreciate receiving it.


    • My Wife has spinal stenosis, scollosis, and bulging disc. and bad curvature of the spine. is there any hope for Her to get correctional treatment? or is she just destined to stay on epidurals and pain medicine

      • Teri Roy says:

        Floyd, sounds like me. I’ve seen Dr Lebl at Hospital for Special Surgery and have consult with Dr Richard Hostin out at Plano Texas next week. There is hope – especially if she is experiencing major nerve pain from impingement with the stenosis and bulging discs. I’ve seen two Drs in Fl that didn’t impress me much. Hope this helps.



      • R.t says:

        Dr Munish Gupta in St Louis

      • Elaine L says:

        This sounds like my husband. We are searching for someone in FL who can help him but so far,no results. Can anyone recommend someone on the cutting edge in FL?

    • Marie says:

      I’m from Orlando and now live in Raleigh, NC. I’m looking for a very good surgeon for my cervical spine. Please let me know if you have narrowed your search down.

      • Julie says:

        Doctor Haglund at Duke University did my cervical fusion surgery. 1.5 hours, one night in the hospital amazing!

      • Joe H says:

        I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis with bone spurs causing spinal stenosis between c5-7
        Looking for a second opinion
        Need recommendations for a neurosurgeon at South Carolina or even NC

  5. A. Marinaccio says:

    I am seeking a top spine surgeon in New Jersey

    • Tony P says:

      If your in South Jersey. 1.) Dr.Vaccaro /Rothman 2) Dr.Hillabrand/ Rothman 3.) Ponnappan offices in Marlton and Marmora down the shore.

      • Ted M says:

        I was lucky enough to have Dr.Albert as my surgeon while he was still at The Rothman Institute. Although he has moved on to become Surgeon-In-Chief at HSS, I would not hesitate to travel from N.J. to N.Y.C. to continue under his care. Short of that, I could not recommend more highly the spinal team at The Rothman Institute. In conjunction with Thomas Jefferson Hospital, the Rothman doctors provide a level of expertise and care that I dare say is second to none.

      • Ted M says:

        I was lucky enough to have Dr.Albert as my surgeon while he was still at The Rothman Institute. Although he has moved on to become Surgeon-In-Chief at HSS, I would not hesitate to travel from N.J. to N.Y.C. to continue under his care. Short of that, I could not recommend more highly the spinal team at The Rothman Institute. In conjunction with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the Rothman doctors provide a level of expertise and care that I dare say is second to none.

    • Diane says:

      Dr. Alexander Vaccaro operated on me. Outstanding doctor and surgeon.

      Dr. Vaccaro is president of the Rothman Institute and chairman of Orthopaedics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. He also serves as co-director of the Spine Fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University and co-director of the Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley. “His work is unparalleled. He has a finely-tuned sense of what is needed in our field, and he succeeds in moving us forward through his research and leadership.”

  6. Jack Iriondo says:

    I’m looking for the best spinal surgeons (lumbar fusion) in CT and Hartford area. please let me know asap.


  7. Theresa says:

    I’d like to know who is the best orthopedic and neurosurgeon in Eastern NC, right by UNC AND DUKE UNIVERSITIES, PLEASE. I’m looking at my second disectomy and inner body fusion, for grade 4 spinal stenosis. Thank you.

  8. Don Long says:

    I am looking for a cervical specialist in Florida. Can you help please.

  9. I need a orth or nuero expert in the mass or New England area who specialses in a severally deformed scholiosis spine that had 9 major surgerys and the last on was a stimulator which does not seem to be doing thr job.

    I live i MA and I have suffered for 15 years and it keeps getting worse. Any Docctor who could help me and has this kind of bacground in spines please contact me. PLEASE

  10. Cellena Cox says:

    I am looking for a spinal doctor located in the Southeast United States. Also familiar with Osteagensis Imperfecta.

  11. Khin Maw, MD says:

    I have sciatica pain for over one year.
    From back to R Leg. All kind of pain, sharp, dull, electric, knife like, cramp, knot like tightness, not visible but feel like vibrations.
    I am looking for a Spinal Surgeon who actively practice in spine and neurosurgery in Northern Virginia, DC, Maryland area.
    I do no take any pain medicine, living with it but recently even worsening.

  12. Lou Palomba says:

    I have been diagnosed as having two herniated discs in my lower back and I am in much pain. I cannot walk or stand for more than 10 minutes. The pain radiates down my right leg which makes me completely immobile. Please recommend a highly rated spine surgeon that performs this surgery. I am in Charlotte N.C, but am willing to travel to find an excellent surgeon. Thank you.

  13. Fred f says:

    Does anyone have a solid recommendation for back surgeon to address herniated disk/sciatica? I live in Myrtle Beach area.

  14. Denise Pico says:

    Dr. William O. Bell in Winston Salem is your man. He’s with Neurological Associates. He did my lumbar fusion last year and came so highly recommended by a couple of friends of mine who both had their fusions done by him. Although I am having complications postoperatively, Dr. Bell has vowed to fix me. By the way, both of my friends have been completely free of pain for over 10 years! Hang in there!

  15. Hameed Malik says:

    I need a top rated laser or minimally invasive spine surgeon for spinal stenosis in Chicago IL and Dallas TX urgently> Bone over growth pressing the spinal cord lost right leg muscle. Please email me me

    • Kim says:

      Dr Kevin Gill UTSW best ever. He dId two of my 3 neck surgeries. One with severe spinal compression. I’m 10 yrs out and still doing well.

  16. R. Morrison says:

    Looking for a top surgeon in the Oklahoma/Texas area. Two back surgeries later and still in pain.

  17. I just had a MRI today, I have severe arthritis in the C5, and C6. I’m being sent to a Neurosurgeon in Toledo Ohio. I want to have a second opinion from somebody that practices the latest in technology and one of the best. Please Email me some info. Thank you, Kelly, age 51.

  18. Moazzem says:

    We are looking for a Scoliosis surgeon in the phoenix, AZ area. Appreciate the response.


  19. S Whitten says:

    Pain for over 10 years. L1 to L5. L1 and L 2. Crushed. Nerves involved. Spinal cord being crushed. Have not found anyone that can fix all of my spine problems. Can travel to doctor’s state and city.

  20. gary zaik says:

    where do we find an expert spine surgeon in our area which is new Hartford,ny, and/or surrounding vicinity???

  21. Ruth J says:

    I have back pain since 1991 back sugary ,injections.i have degenerative disc disease , spinal stenosis, bulging disc cervical and lumbar. I’m in pain constantly leg pain lower back pain having issues walking can’t bend clean or dress my self with out severe pain going from sitting to standing position is unbareable painful. I live Dallas Texas area. Is there a compassionate and good spine dr who serve this area

    • José says:

      Good night
      Did you find any in dallas tx Area ?

      • Vincent Priest says:

        Dr Andrew Park had come on a referral from the professor of spinal ortho surgery SWMC. Doctor Park and his whole staff, I trust 100%!

        • Kim says:

          Dr Kevin Gill. Dallas at UT Southwestern

        • My Mom has been suffering with the pain of spinal stenosis for 4 years. We live in Louisiana but are willing to travel to Dallas.

          Did Dr. Park perform your surgery?

          Can you provide any recommendation for Dr. John Pelosa?

          Pls respond, concerned for my Mom’s continued decline.

    • Vincent Priest says:

      Dr. Andrew Park and his staff in north Dallas are great and the best I’ve ever been to. He came on a recommendation from Southwestern Medical School’s Dr Kevin Gill who is one of the best in the world.

    • U james says:

      Dr Bala giri did my cervical fusion and lumbar surgery excellent neurosurgeon with awesome bed side Manors located in Dallas Texas.

  22. p carter says:

    looking for a surgeon anywhere in U.S. who knows about spinal “fistulas”. My son-in-law has had several surgeries and is not getting better. Help!

    • John Marlow says:

      Greetings! I saw your question and wondered if anyone had made recommendations? I too need the best available spine surgeon in Chicago area. Any tips are much appreciated.
      John M.

  23. Tom A says:

    looking for a top-rated spinal surgeon in the Chicago area.

  24. GiataMarie says:

    If you need back surgery, do not have any dr in the south states touch you. Go to California where the best of the best can be found. My experiences.

  25. GiataMarie says:

    Most spine surgery is considered by Medicare a “specialty” and they will not cover any of it.

  26. James says:

    Looking for top neck surgeons in or around michigan. Just was diagnosed with discs bulging putting pressure on spinal cord. Want to avoid fusion if possible as I’m only 30.

    • Pam Brewster says:

      Before you have surgery check out the Egoscue clinic in San Diego, Newport, or Laguna Hills CA. Go online and read about it. It has tremendously helped three family members. Developed by Peter Egoscue.

  27. Robin Smith says:

    I have L 4 nerve damage and in need of a surgeon.I live near Cincinnati and hope to find a good surgeon there.Can you help me? Thanks

  28. Kay Wales says:

    My husband and I are considering switching from Nat’l Spine & Pain Center in Germantown, MD to American Spine Center in Germantown, MD cuz Nat’l Spine does not recognize Johns Hopkins’ Advantage MD health plan & American does. Does anyone in our area have any comments regarding these 2 spine centers or even of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Medicare Plan (Advantage MD)?

  29. Mari-Tere Delara says:

    I have Ankilosis Spondilytis my lumbar spine is in very bad shape and I need a good spine doctor to tell me what to do.
    All I do are blocks and injections can someone help?
    Thank you

  30. Sean says:

    Who is the #1 surgeon in the Kansas City Area? I have a bulged L4-L5 and herniated L5-S1. I’ve had 8 epidurals over the past 2 yrs and and need help now. PLEASE and THANK YOU!

  31. Keith Ramey says:

    I live in Kentucky, I have grade 3 spondylolisthesis of the L5-S1 area of my spine. In 3 yrs. it has gotten a lot worse. I have numbness that comes and goes in my feet, swelling of ankles, limited mobility of lower back, and all the pain that I can stand. Ive had several doctors in the area look but were too afraid to touch. I work as a robotics tech. at Toyota and I’m on my feet a lot. I choose to try to not let this condition get me down. But now it has gotten worse. I am looking for a highly skilled spine dr. to help me with regaining my mobility back and stop some of the pain. If any of you that read this can be of help, call, text, email me any info that will help. Thank you all and God Bless.

  32. Aaron Hudechek says:

    Can I please get a name for someone in Michigan.

    • Noel Jackson says:

      I’m not sure if you have found a surgeon yet but I live in Southwest Michigan and my surgeon was excellent. Dr Christian Sikorsky, MD is located in St. Joseph, MI at Lakeland Health Medical Center. I am a year out from L4-L5 fusion surgery and I am feeling amazing, I would absolutely recommend him as a surgeon. Best of luck.

  33. Michelle says:

    Are any of these spinal surgeons in Houston, TX and specialize in Scoliosis?

  34. Carole says:

    Am looking for an excellent spinal and cervical surgeon in the north east, Hartford, New York or Boston.

  35. Cathy says:

    My 27 year old son has l5 s1 l4 mildly herniated discs. Level 2 pain that goes up and down. Does yoga; core training is very flexible yet no one can figure out how to get him out of pain. Has done pt. Is currently trying a chiropractor. Saw a pa at Cleveland clinic. He is not a surgical candidate but we need to find someone who can figure out what us going on and help him. He is in Cleveland. Thank you

  36. Mephisto says:

    Has anyone had experience with Dr Alejandro Leali at HSS, NYC?

  37. michele hanson says:

    My nephew has a severed spinal cord and we are trying to find a spinal specialist that is in the Minneapolis St Paul area.

  38. Marty says:

    Who is the top rated cervical spine neurosurgeon in Houston texas

  39. Bruce Rays says:

    I have spinal stenosis via MRI and have had 3 epidurals thus far with immediate relief & back to normality but it doesn’t more than 2-3 wks tops. I would greatly appreciate a referral to a top Spine Surgeon and can consult with. One or more names please for a 2nd opinion. I am in the Los Angeles area and I’ve heard of one in Marina del Rey–do you know of him? Thank you very much in advance for your thoughtful recommendations. This is a very Heartfelt service you have here.

    • Fred says:

      You are right to both see more surgeons and I would urge you to get as much information on any surgeon as possible. I am curious why you were diagnosed with just a MRI when a mylogram is superior. I had surgery for spinal stenosis one year ago and immediately I knew that my pain had increased x10. A few months later I went to another surgeon in a larger city and he told me he couldn’t help me for a year after the first surgery. He wanted me to get another mylogram but because there was plenty of time and mylograms are very painful (maybe 15 minutes) I waited until last month. When I spoke to the new surgeon he told me that the first surgeon didn’t finish the surgery. As I wait for my second surgery I have been trying to find out if the first surgeon should have seen when he had me on the table that what he was doing was insufficient or would cause me more pain. There is no way that he didn’t see it on the first mylogram prior to his surgery.
      I mentioned that mylograms were painful for a reason. I am in so much pain that I did not feel the second mylogram at all. That’s over a year of pain that surgeons know is intense. I urge you to be sure that your surgeon knows what he’s doing and is ethical (a damn near impossible task with the ethics). The first surgeon broke the Hippocratic oath which boils down to, Do no harm

      • Ericka says:

        As I am reading, I can feel your pain. You should say the name of the Doctor, that way nobody will go to see him.

  40. Nadine Brunner says:

    I have a severe case of spinalolatheysis (I hope I spelled that right, lol) I’m looking for the best surgeon in Maryland. I am very scared. I have a family and I don’t want to be paralyzed or have anything go wrong. Can you please help me.

  41. Nikki says:

    I need a good spine surgeon in the Northeast TX area or Dallas area. My husband has herniated disc, sciatica pain, etc.

  42. Jackie says:

    Need a good doctor in the NW, Washington, Oregon area. for son’s spine, needs a second spine fusion and in lots of pain. Please help us find the best of the best. His back is a mess.

  43. Joe S says:

    I need to find the best spine surgeon in Cincinnati, who would that be ?

  44. Gurdial says:

    I need to find the best spinal cord tumor ependymoma surgeon in near Buffalo,NY or somewhere else for me,

    Please Can you help me. It will be really appreciated.


  45. Colleen H says:

    Is there a recommendation for a spinal orthopedic specialist in Oregon? My mother has had 2 bulging discs. She is 79 and in a lot of pain. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    • Deb says:

      My son had the herniated disc surgery by a very incompetent surgeon and has suffered for the past 5 years. It left scar tissue that now is pressing on the nerves and another surgery not recommended because of more scar tissue accumulating. The DISC (Desert Institute for Spine Care in phoenix az has one of the top 100 doctors in the US and they have come up with new ways to take care of herniated discs and videos you can watch. They train doctors from all over the techniques maybe you could find out if someone in your area has been through the training. But I wish I would have never let my son get the disc surgery where they cut off the protruding disc. If I would have only done the research then but you put all your trust in the doctors knowing what they are doing.

  46. Jerry P says:

    I had 2 surgeries for herniated disc l4 l5 and l5 s1, fortunate enough to have Dr Todd Albert do the first one 3 years ago and fortunate enough that dr. Alex Vaccaro did the second one two weeks ago.
    It is really a stressful situation to try to pick a spine surgeon, I was fortunate enough to have two of the best. Travel if you must. Good luck to everyone,
    Hang in there.

    • Beverly says:

      Hi Jerry P. Where did you get your surgeries. Sounds similar to what I need. Just curious though, why two surgeries?

    • Francisco Javier says:

      Hi! I live outside the US, and I want to travel to treat the same hernia you had. I have herniated disk L4 and L5.
      Do you recommend doctor Todd Albert? Is he the best?


  47. Kenneth hunziker says:

    Do any of these doctors specialize in treatment of spondylolisthesis?

  48. ob iller says:

    looking for a top minimally invasive surgeon for lower back in phoenix or Tucson area–southern California would be ok

  49. Yoni says:

    I’m looking for a spinal surgeon near fort smith arkansas with in a 200 mile
    Radius please

  50. David Lowe says:

    I’m looking for information regarding the best neck surgeon / facilities in Charlotte, NC or willing to travel to Duke if this is the best place in the state for one to be? I need a second opinion before preceeding into what will be my second surgery.

  51. Herb says:

    Cervical surgeon in Sarasota Fl..terrible neck pain & auto fused C4-5

  52. E says:

    I am looking for the top spinal surgeon in the Charlotte NC area….. Thank you

  53. janelle pitcher says:

    I have been diagnosed with a benign , very slow growing tumor in my spinal cord. I have had a PET scan and periodic MRIs to watch it. I am looking for the best surgeon to remove it. It is a risky surgery because of it’s location. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I live in SE Texas.

  54. Robert Chamberlin says:

    I have had 3 back surgeries since 1992. I was told recently by Spine Institute in Louisiana that until I was “bedridden” , there was nothing that they could do for me. I am in overwhelming pain at all times. I was told that my neck was a “train wreck”. I would like a second opinion from a top spinal surgeon. I have a recent MRI.

  55. Linda says:

    My brother has had major surgery on his back the surgeon put rods and screws from neck to Spine he has had to go back in 3 times rods have bent all kinds of complications we can’t he now needs another surgery but we can’t find anyone that will do it keep telling us to see the surgeon that messed his back up can anyone recommend a great surgeon no one in North Carolina will touch him he is in extreme pain

    • Della says:

      I highly recommend Dr. Lawrence Lenke. Please research him; he is presently in Missouri. Like your brother, I have had major back surgery with rods and screws; and experience horrific pain; and anticipate another surgery in the near future. (Dr. Lenke was NOT my prior surgeon). Dr. Lenke is one of the best in the world; especially for spinal deformity. Your brother’s story sounds so familiar to mine; have seen 3 doctors recently and keep getting shoved around. My second recommendation would be UAB. I wish you and your brother all the best.

      • jenson says:

        Hi, who did your brother go to? I am looking at a few surgeons in NC and getting ready for a very major fusion for severe scoliosis, Spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, etc. I am so afraid to go to the wrong dr and it is so hard to find any information on their history. I am looking at Dr. Hey at the Hey Clinic for Scoliosis in Raleigh, NC. Have you seen him before for your brother?
        Please let me know.
        Good Luck to you both!!!

  56. Steve says:

    Can anyone recommend a highly skilled and very experience thoracic spine surgeon anywhere in the country.i will travel. I need surgery to resolve a large herniation at the T-2 T-3 level. I would prefer someone who is skilled in VATS.

    • DJM says:

      I went to North American Spine, Dallas TX, and had minimally invasive thoracic surgery in 2011. Dr. Alo. Very successful. Still have no pain there after surgery. I believe he works out of Houston now.

  57. Suzanne Ansari says:

    Need s specialist in the bay area. Husband has compression fractures, now scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylosis. Doctor only recommending pt and tramadol! He’s in so much pain. Had one kyphoplasty already but didn’t help much. Had another fracture after and the doc didn’t want to do another kyphoplasty. In desperate need of a second opinion from a great doctor

  58. Steve says:

    I have lumbar and cervical issues. Looking for a Dr. in the Midwest…….or Twin Cities

  59. Henrietta says:

    Who is the best lumbar spine doctor in the Arizona area. I live near Sedona and I’m willing to travel. I’ve had previous back surgery that was not successful. I have a slipped vertebrae at S1 L5 and my L5 L4 is unstable. I am in constant pain and have nerve pain down my leg 24 seven. I had an injury when I was 10 years old and I have been living with pain getting progressively worse for 50 years ..please help. I’m very nervous about going to see a doctor!

  60. carol barker says:

    Who is the best neurosurgeon and spine doctor in Florida?


  61. Robert P Cadenhead says:

    I am looking at a diagnosis for my 4th spine surgery and this one is a fusion of L4 and L5 with two pinched nerves. I am in Dallas Texas and hear that minimally invasive surgery is best if possible. Problem is I do not feel like I have the best doctor already lined up and was hoping either to get a recommendation locally or anywhere in the US. I can travel but don’t know if i will be able to travel back to Dallas for the recovery so that is a question I need an answer to as well. My pain is pretty bad most days but every now and then I get a good day.

    Thank you

  62. Will Peters says:

    I am looking for an outstanding master spine surgeon for L4 stenosis and lumbar degenerative spinylolithesis. I live in Northeast Virginia. I am willing to travel to connect with the best surgeon possible. I would appreciate any information you could send my way. Thank you.

    Will Peters

  63. Ammer says:

    CERVICAL Spine Surgeon desperately needed!
    I’m in Connecticut but will travel for top neck surgeon!
    CT, MA, NY or beyond!
    Recommendations greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

  64. In 2014 has a spinal fusion of L4 5 and Veterans Decatur Hospital in Atlanta Georgia went well for the first year then kept having spinal problems up into this point difficult to walk God now found someone at the Emory Spine and Ortho Clinic how would you rate that clinic in the doctors there

  65. Janelle says:

    HELP! My mom has had 2 surgeries so far. Now we need to deal with her very messed up neck. Severe nerve impingements, herniated discs. Train wreck from C3-C7! We live in Boise, but will go anywhere in the US. Need a major neck specialist. All the neuro people there just want to give her shots and they are afraid to do surgical procedures. It’s way beyond their skill set. Who is the #1 neck surgeon in the US? I feel a road trip coming on!

  66. Magnus Malmgren says:


    Im born Sweden in 1964 with MMC and hydrocefalus. The last ten years i have had pain like an electric shock in that damaged area of my spine as soon i make any kind of move. I know that it has to do with the nerves that are damaged. No surgeon in Sweden is willing to do an operation where the damaged and grown nerves will be cut off. Since the nerves dont do any good while they the are not correctly merged with the other side of it.
    Please anyone with relevant facts write to me, please im desperate.
    I have Fentanyl pads and pain killers to no use (i propably would have alot more pain without them ofc)

    Best regards
    Magnus Malmgren
    Landskrona Sweden

  67. Magnus Malmgren says:

    Where did my long message go, did someone delete it???

  68. leon says:

    My son need surgery disk replacement. He have lot of pain.
    Toronto Western hospital it is better hospital for him .suggestions?
    Leon Belahov
    Thornhill ,On.

  69. Gayle Areheart says:

    I require the finest surgeon available, within my BCBS (substandard) network. I, currently, live in IN and am willing to travel to get the finest surgeon available “in network”. This is a “one shot deal” & I am going to give it my best damn shot.

  70. Sharon Rhea Ford says:

    I am in SC and Ohio. As Gayle A. says also, my case is very severe, and I need the best. I can have it done by Dr. R. Douglas Orr at The Cleveland Clinic who seems extremely qualified; yet, I keep reading all these other names on the top list, so I am confused. After being extremely strong and having straight posture my entire life, I have scoliosis kyphosis heading toward my heart and lungs with Tarlov Cysts between the discs (showing up 8 yrs ago and worsening by the day. The pain is horrific. I no longer go for walks or even into stores. I am 3″ shorter and 30 pounds heavier – contorted. Today, I feel as though it’s coming to an end on top of 5 tragic years anyway of losing my parents, a house flood, a hurricane hit house 12 hrs away, and more. I want to live and live healthy again. This is not living and has not been for a few years. I feel worse for my puppies than I do for myself, because I do not want to live this way; yet, they deserve better than I can give them now also. Plus the thought of boarding them during surgery and recovery seems so awful. Thank you.

  71. Courtnie Finkell says:

    Please help me find best spinal orthopedic surgeon in world.

  72. Geoff says:

    I am seeking a top spine surgeon in San Diego

  73. Steve says:

    I’m looking for a top spinal surgeon within 50 mi. of the Stroudsburg, Pa. area.

  74. Richard Kuhn says:

    looking for a spine surgeon in pa ther best

  75. Denise Orr says:

    I am looking for the best surgeon in Michigan. Several spinal issues that require surgery.

  76. Domenico says:

    I’m looking for the best spine surgeon in Montana (where I reside); or in Massachusetts & Vermont (where I vacation and where I was raised).


  77. James says:

    I have degenerative disc disease,from arthritis.
    My doctor tells me no surgery can help, I am getting epidurals and only help maybe one out of three.
    MRI shows from m3 to s1 is bone to bone. I am 65 yrs old
    and in good health except for back.
    What can I do , it is keeping me awake and irritable all the
    time .

  78. James says:

    James Thacker New Tazewell Tn.
    I sent question on Nov 16,2017 , and would like to get response,
    Thank You

  79. Annabel Fay says:

    I was wondering if anyone on the list specialized in spinal stenosis (lumbar to be specific); I have had previous treatment for issues with multiple disc herniations, and have seen numerous people with zero success. I am 30-years-old, and currently I’m barely mobile, so any help to find the right person would be greatly appreciated–thank you.

  80. Luz E Bustamante says:

    I am seeking for a spine surgeon in Rhode Island.

  81. Deborah says:

    I am looking for a doctor in the Asheville area for a second opionion. I have cervical spinal stenosis and a second bulging disc. I have had one surgery four yrs.ago, I want another docter to agree or disagree. Can anyone help me?Thank you very much!

    • Becca says:

      If you’re willing to travel, I would go to NYC and see Dr. K. Daniel Riew. He’s now at Columbia Presbyterian in New York, but when he was in St. Louis at Barnes-Jewish Hospital @Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM or WUSTL for short), I was both a nurse AND a cervical spine surgery patient of his. I can guarantee you that you shan’t find a better C-Spine surgeon, whether it be for just an opinion or for surgery as well. He is listed above and you can get an absolute TON of info on him from his Columbia Pres page. Dr. Riew is constantly, CONSTANTLY listed among the very best IN THE WORLD & is asked to consult & collaborate incessantly on thee most difficult cases by the (other) best cervical spine surgeons around the world. Best of Luck to you!!!

  82. Sherry says:

    I have been getting progressively worse for 3 years. I finally got the diagnosis through multiple MRI”s and a myelogram of congenital dual defect spinal cord herniation on my thoracic spine. I need a surgeon who is experienced in that type of surgery. I live in WV, but willing to travel. My parents live near Memphis so that is an option too.

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