Dr. Frank Cammisa, Chief Emeritus of the Spine Service at Hospital for Special Surgery, specializes in the surgical treatment of spinal disorders. His areas of expertise include minimally invasive spinal surgery, computer-assisted spinal surgery, microsurgery, athletic spinal injuries and motion-preserving procedures, including artificial disc replacement.
In addition to treating patients as an Attending Surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, Dr. Cammisa is a Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College. He has long been active in working with professional, scholastic and recreational athletes. Many professional athletes including members of the Giants and Jets football teams and Knicks basketball team are among the pro-athletes who consult with Dr. Cammisa for expert diagnosis and treatment, including surgery, if necessary. He is also the spine consultant for the National Hockey League Player Association.
In surveys of his peers, Dr. Cammisa is consistently named as one of the best doctors in his field. He is listed among a select group of surgeons in New York magazine's "Best Doctors" issue year after year. He is also named in the Castle Connolly Medical Guide, How To Find The Best Doctors in New York and is among the physicians named as America's Top Doctors.
Dr. Cammisa is often called on by the media for his expertise and he has appeared in countless print and broadcast reports. He was recognized by New York magazine as one of "12 Doctors Who are Reinventing Medicine” in an article focusing on his research in artificial discs to relieve debilitating back pain.
Dr. Cammisa engages in research to advance the diagnosis and treatment of complex spine conditions. Recognized as a pioneer in the use of new surgical techniques, procedures and modalities, he often participates as the principal investigator in major research studies. His areas of investigation include computer-assisted image guidance, demineralized bone matrix, minimally invasive spinal surgery, and the artificial disc as an alternative to spinal fusion for debilitating back pain. Dr. Cammisa is currently involved in the STRIVE study, a worldwide clinical trial to see if an investigational vaccine given before spinal surgery can prevent infection.
He has received a number of prestigious research grants. He was one of the lead investigators of a seven-year, multi-center national study funded by a $21 million dollar grant by the National Institutes of Health. The study was one of the first to directly compare the effectiveness of surgical versus nonsurgical approaches to treat herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and degenerative spondylolisthesis.
Dr. Cammisa has published over 130 research articles and manuscripts in dozens of prestigious medical journals, including The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA). One such study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was a multi-center trial to compare treatments for degenerative spondylolisthesis, which is caused when a vertebra slips out of alignment. The study followed 601 patients in 11 states over two years to compare surgical and nonsurgical treatments. Dr. Cammisa and his colleagues around the country found that surgery was twice as effective as nonsurgical approaches in reducing pain and restoring function.
As a co-author of more than 30 chapters in medical textbooks, Dr. Cammisa has held numerous editorial appointments, and is a reviewer for several respected medical journals. He is the recipient of many awards and honors, and has lectured both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Cammisa created The National Spinal Research Foundation and has been affiliated with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Dr. Cammisa is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He is also a member of such distinguished medical societies as the North American Spine Society, Cervical Spine Research Society, Scoliosis Research Society, International Society for the Study of Lumbar Spine, American Spinal Injury Association and Spine Arthroplasty Society.
Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Senior Scientist, Research Division, Hospital for Special Surgery
Chief Emeritus, Spine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Clinical Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College
Attending Surgeon, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Consultant in Spinal Surgery, Spinal Cord Injury Service, Burke Rehabilitation Center
Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery
Laparoscopic Spinal Surgery
Computer Assisted Spinal Surgery
Athletic Spinal Injuries
America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly Guide, 2002–Present
Outstanding Paper Award for Surgical Science, North American Spine Society, 2013
Founders Award, Eastern Orthopaedic Association, 2012
"Best Doctors in New York," New York magazine, 2009, 2010, 2011
North American Traveling Fellowship, American Orthopaedic Association
Spinal Research Award, Eastern Orthopaedic Association
Fellow Scholar Award, Eastern Orthopaedic Association
North American Spine Society
International College of Surgeons
Fellow American College of Surgeons
Cervical Spine Research Society
International Society for the Study of Lumbar Spine
Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage. You may still have coverage subject to the availability of 'out-of-network' benefits.
One of the goals of Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.
As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies if payments were received during the prior year, or if the HSS physician currently receives payment. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.
Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Cammisa as of June 02, 2015.
By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, HSS’ Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.
Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.
National Board of Medical Examiners
American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, ABOS
New York, New Jersey, Connecticut
For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.
Dr. Cammisa is currently researching:
Computer Assisted Image Guidance
Demineralized Bone Matrix
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery
Endoscopic Spinal Surgery
Bone Growth Enhancement
HSS, along with medical centers around the country, in Europe, Japan, and Canada, is taking part in a study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational vaccine when administered to adults undergoing a spinal fusion surgical procedure. The research is part of the HSS commitment to quality by continually striving to improve long-term outcomes.
The goal of the study is to investigate whether a single vaccination given 10-60 days before spinal surgery can prevent Staphylococcus aureus (staph) infections. Although rare, affecting only 1 to 3% of patients nationwide, an infection is always serious and any measure that could potentially prevent an infection could improve patient outcomes.
The safety and tolerability of the current investigational vaccine for Staphylococcus aureus have already been studied in healthy adult participants in four previous clinical trials.
The next step is to study the safety and efficacy of this investigational vaccine in patients planning a spinal fusion surgical procedure.
The study is open to adults 18 to 85 years of age meeting certain criteria. Please consult your physician for more information. Learn more
HSS Spine at Hospital for Special Surgery