I am a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon, specializing in the surgical treatment of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine disorders. I serve as director of spine surgery at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. I see patients in Bel Air, Rosedale / White Marsh, and in Baltimore at MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals.
Pursuing a career in orthopaedic surgery seemed a natural fit to my background as a mechanical engineer. After completing my residency and fellowship training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, I served as division chief of Johns Hopkins Orthopaedic and Spine Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital, prior to transitioning to MedStar Orthopaedics in 2014.
My areas of intellectual interest and clinical expertise center around minimally invasive spine surgery. Using tubular retractors in lieu of traditional open surgery, state-of-the-art technologies, and computer-assisted navigation allows me to deliver to my patients the best solutions with the least amount of invasion. A large portion of my practice also focuses on spinal problems in the elderly, rheumatoid arthritis of the spine, spinal deformity, and revision spinal surgery.
I remain active in resident and surgeon education, and was honored to be the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award from the Johns Hopkins University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2014. I have also been involved in developing innovative spine surgical techniques and new technologies and relate my experiences to other surgeons, both from the podium as well as in smaller teaching seminars. It has been a privilege to be listed by both U.S. News and World Report’s and Castle Connolly in their lists of Top Doctors in the U.S., as well as being named among the Top 100 Spine Surgeons in the U.S. by Becker’s Healthcare.
My philosophy of care is quite simple: to give my patients the best care possible. Each patient is treated as an individual with unique needs. My team understands the challenges facing patients with spinal disorders. Our team approach is utilized to enable timely, effective diagnoses and treatment options. Many surgeons are quick to operate. In my practice, non-operative options are exhausted first. In cases where symptoms persist, my goal is to achieve the best long-term results using the least invasive techniques, thus minimizing risks and improving recovery time. Minimally invasive spine surgery. My areas of special intellectual interest and clinical expertise center around minimally invasive techniques, which use tubular retractors instead of larger incisions, state-of-the-art technologies, and computer-assisted navigation. This all allows me to deliver the best solutions to my patients’ spine issues with the least amount of invasion. Coordinated care to practice medicine as a team. Open communication with you and your referring physician, keeping both of you informed through each step of your evaluation and treatment, is an important component to your care. I welcome your questions and encourage dialogue with you, your referring physician, and other specialists who may be involved in your care…
Mesfin Lemma, MD was recognized in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 “Top Docs” list by Baltimore Magazine for orthopaedic spine surgery and 2015-2016 Best Doctors in America.
- Spine Surgery (Primary)
- Orthopaedic Surgery
- Fellowship Program Johns Hopkins Hospital (2003)
- Residency Program Johns Hopkins Hospital (2002)
- Internship Program Johns Hopkins Hospital (1998)
- Medical School Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (1997)
At MedStar Union Memorial Orthopaedics, our goal is to relieve your back pain and restore your ability to enjoy your favorite activities. One of the best ways to ensure you get an accurate and complete diagnosis is to describe your…Read More »
The nerves running along the thoracic and lumbar areas of your spine may become irritated due to disc material bulging out from between the vertebrae. The associated pain may or may not radiate out to other parts of the body.Read More »
Cervical stenosis is a common cause of neck pain, especially in older patients. It is caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck area or upper part of the spine. This narrowing places pressure on the spinal…Read More »
Spinal Infection (Vertebral Osteomyelitis)
Spine Infections are also referred to as Vertebral Osteomyelitis and are fairly rare as cause of back pain in young healthy people. The elderly and immunocompromised are at risk for this type of spinal condition.Read More »
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis A common cause of lower back and leg pain is lumbar spinal stenosis. As we age, our spines change. The normal effects of aging can lead to narrowing of the spinal canal. This condition is called spinal…Read More »
Kyphosis causes your spine to curve so much that your body is hunched and rounded. Postural kyphosis results from bad posture and slouching and is often less severe. Other types of kyphosis can cause deformities to individual vertebrae and more…Read More »
Back Fracture (break)
The spinal vertebrae are spongier and less dense than the other bones in your body in order to accommodate movements like bending and twisting. This also means they are more vulnerable to fracture. A spinal fracture in the thoracic or…Read More »
Neck Fracture (break)
The spinal vertebrae are spongier and less dense than the other bones in your body in order to accommodate movements like bending and twisting. This also means they are more vulnerable to fracture. A spinal fracture occurs when one of…Read More »
Tumors that grow on or near the bones of the spine or around the spinal cord can disrupt the line of communication between the spinal cord and the brain. Spinal tumors can originate in the spine, or spread to the…Read More »
Herniated Disc (Back)
Lumbar Herniated Disc Many patients with back pain, leg pain, or weakness of the lower extremity muscles are diagnosed with a herniated disc. When a disc herniation occurs, the cushion that sits between the spinal vertebrae is pushed outside its…Read More »
Herniated Disc (Neck)
Between the spinal bones (vertebrae) in your neck are pads of cartilage called discs. Natural use or strain can cause a disc to rupture (leak) or slip out of place (herniate). When a disc weakens, parts of it can shift…Read More »
Idiopathic Scoliosis- A sideways curvature of the thoracic and or lumbar spine. Typically in an “S” shape. Adult Scoliosis- This condition can occur when scoliosis in adolescence is untreated or not properly treated it can continue into adulthood causing back…Read More »
Spondylolisthesis (stress fracture causing vertebrae to slip out of position)
Lumbar Spondylolisthesis In spondylolisthesis, one of the vertebra in the spine slips forward and out of place. This may occur anywhere along the spine, but is most common in the lower back. In some people, this causes no symptoms at…Read More »
Sciatica occurs when a herniated disk puts pressure on or damages the sciatic nerve, which supports the muscles and controls sensation in the leg and foot. Those with sciatica often feel leg cramping, burning, weakness, numbness, and tingling as well…Read More »