If you’re struggling with back and neck pain – or any other symptoms resulting from spinal health issues – it’s understandable that you want to find the best spine surgeon possible.
The way we all prefer to find a doctor is to get a personal referral from someone in our lives who we trust. But not everyone knows someone who can make such a referral. That’s the reason for this post.
As a spine surgeon myself I believe that I am well-qualified to point folks in the direction of some of the best orthopedic spine surgeons in the county. I hope that this curated list of surgeons – all of whom I know personally and have trained with during my time at UCSF medical school, Harvard residency, and Emory fellowship – can act as a substitute for folks who don’t have anyone in their lives who can refer them to a surgeon directly.
Best Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons in the United States
These surgeons all share my philosophy and approach to care: restore function and reduce or eliminate pain with the least invasive, most effective techniques, guided by evidence from the literature, with a customized plan for each patient.
Ehsan Saadat, MDCedars-Sinai | Healthgrades | Google Reviews
Ehsan Saadat, MD is a Harvard and Emory-trained orthopaedic spine surgeon located in southern California. He specializes in disk replacement, minimally invasive surgery, spinal fusions, robotic spine surgery, and revision spine surgery. Dr. Saadat is an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center which was ranked as the best hospital in California and the #3 hospital in the country for Orthopaedic Surgery in 2022 by US News and World Report.
He performs outpatient surgery at the Cedars-Sinai 90210 Surgery Medical Center, which was ranked in 2023 as the #1 Ambulatory Surgery Center in the United States by Newsweek. He is a prolific researcher and author, with several contributions to the latest authoritative textbook of techniques in spinal surgery. Based in Los Angeles, Dr. Saadat attracts and treats patients from around the world.
John Rhee, MDEmory Healthcare | Healthgrades
Meet John Rhee, MD, a highly skilled spine surgeon with expertise in cervical and lumbar spine surgery, complex spinal deformity surgery, and surgery for spinal tumors. Alongside his surgical practice, Dr. Rhee is an active researcher and accomplished lecturer who has earned numerous accolades for his work. His research has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals, and he has authored and edited multiple textbooks on spine surgery. Dr. Rhee has held leadership roles such as President of the Cervical Spine Research Society (CSRS), a leading authority in cervical spine disorder research and education. He has also served as Program Chairman and faculty at various spine surgery meetings and courses, and is actively involved in training international spine research scholars and other spinal surgeon
John Heller, MDEmory Healthcare | Healthgrades
Dr. John Heller is a highly accomplished orthopedic surgeon and professor at Emory University School of Medicine. With over three decades of experience, he specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery and is known for his expertise in cervical spine surgery, including cervical disc replacement and laminoplasty. Dr. Heller has trained under some of the founding fathers of modern spine surgery and has been recognized internationally for his research and development of instrumentation in cervical spine surgery. He is a member of several prestigious professional organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Cervical Spine Research Society, and North American Spine Society. Dr. Heller has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field, including the CIBA Community Service Award and the Volvo Research Award.
Scott Boden, MDEmory Healthcare | Healthgrades
Dr. Scott Boden is a Professor, Chair, and the Director of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. He has been practicing since 1992 and trained at Case Western Reserve Hospital in Cleveland under Dr. Henry Bohlman, one of the founding fathers of modern spine surgery. Dr. Boden is an internationally renowned lecturer and teacher, specializing in bone growth factor development and spine fusion technology. He is also a primary original researcher on the same subjects. Dr. Boden’s contributions to the field have been recognized with several awards, including the Eugene T. Nordby Award, Kappa Delta Young Investigator Award, and Volvo Award for Low Back Research. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the North American Spine Society.
Christopher Bono, MDMassachusetts General Hospital | US News
Dr. Christopher Bono, MD is a prominent orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he serves as the Chief of the Division of Spine Surgery. Dr. Bono is also a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He has extensive experience in treating spinal conditions and injuries, with a particular focus on minimally invasive techniques, spinal reconstruction, and spinal deformities. Dr. Bono is a prolific author and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on spinal surgery. He is also an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the North American Spine Society.
Sigurd Berven, MDUCSF | US News
Dr. Sigurd Berven is a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Neurological Surgery at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the Chief of the Spine Service at UCSF Medical Center. He specializes in the surgical treatment of pediatric and adult spinal deformities, including scoliosis, kyphosis, and spondylolisthesis. Dr. Berven has authored over 300 scientific publications and is an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the North American Spine Society, and the Scoliosis Research Society. He has been recognized for his contributions to the field of spine surgery and is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences.