Dr. Darren R. Lebl is an Associate Professor of spinal surgery specializing in minimally invasive surgery, the cervical spine, motion preserving spine procedures, and robotic computer guided navigation surgery. His practice at HSS involves a customized approach to each individual patient to help maximize quality of life and musculoskeletal health. He incorporates innovative procedures, newer and less invasive surgical techniques, and biologic healing agents into his practice.
Dr. Lebl graduated from The University of Chicago with a triple major in biochemistry & molecular biology, chemistry, and economics with honors in each. He then attended medical school on scholarship to Stanford, surgical residency at Harvard, and subspecialty surgical fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He later obtained an MBA from Wharton. He pursued additional advanced spine surgery training in cervical spine disorders, occipitocervical disorders, and spinal deformity surgery with international leaders in the USA, China, Japan, Spain, and Germany.
Dr. Lebl was the Editor-in-Chief of the Orthopaedic Journal at Harvard Medical School. He received the honor of serving as the Academic Chief Resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was later recognized as an “emerging leader” by the world’s oldest and most distinguished orthopaedic association, the American Orthopaedic Association, for his contributions to education and research.
He has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on complication avoidance in spinal surgery, cervical spine disorders, minimally invasive procedures, and motion preserving spine procedures. Dr. Lebl has also participated in medical missions to the Gambia and Ghana in West Africa.
Dr. Lebl was the director of the Complex Cervical Spine Symposium at HSS that brings leading international cervical spine surgeons to New York for an educational exchange in a CME accredited surgeon-training course. He also was the director of the Cervical Spine Motion Preservation Symposium at HSS. Dr. Lebl also works with several cutting-edge medical device companies on state-of-the-art techniques to improve spine surgery and patient performance.
Dr. Lebl is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is an active member of distinguished societies such as the Cervical Spine Research Society, the North American Spine Society, and the Scoliosis Research Society.
Dr. Lebl has operated on and cared for spine patients on four different continents and has been an invited lecturer at many regional, national, and international academic meetings around the world. His private patients at HSS have included elite professional athletes, international patients, musicians, doctors, and other high-performance individuals.
Associate Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Assistant Scientist, Research Division, Hospital for Special Surgery
Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Atlantoaxial Subluxation (C1-C2)
Cervical Arthritis / Cervical Spondylosis
Congenital cervical spine anomalies
Forestier’s Disease / DISH
High Cervical Spine Disorders
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Occipitocervical Junction Disorders
Pediatric Spinal Disorders
Rheumatoid Cervical Spine
Customized treatment plans for each individual patient may include:
Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion (ACDF)
Atlantoaxial fusion (C1-C2)
Cervical corpectomy / cervical vertebrectomy
Lateral Transpoas Interbody Fusion (LLIF / XLIF)
Minimally invasive cervical decompression
Minimally invasive cervical disk replacement
Minimally invasive lumbar decompression
Occipitocervical / craniovertebral junction fusion
Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy
Smith Petersen Osteotomy
Three Column Osteotomy
Veterbral Column Resection / Vertebrectomy
Whitecloud Award Winner in Clinical Sciences, co-author - 2019
Cervical Spine Research Society – Best Podium Award, AP Division , 2013
Spine “Young Investigator Award”/NASS “Outstanding Paper Award”, co-author 2013
Thomas S. Whitecloud MD III Award Nominee for Best Basic Science Paper, IMAST, 2011
Orthopaedic Research Society, Board of Specialty Societies – Best Poster Presentation 2011
Cervical Spine Research Society Resident/Fellow Poster Award 2010
Frances N. Goodrich Scholarship - Stanford School of Medicine, 2003-2004
Kolos Scholar – Stanford School of Medicine, 2003-2004
Edward & Clara Wilkens Scholarship – Stanford School of Medicine, 2000-2003
Baxter Stanford Medical Scholars, 2001
Howard Hughes Summer Research Fellowship 1998
Robert & Ruth Halperin Scholarship for Academic Excellence in the Physical Sciences, 1997-2000
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery - Diplomate
American Orthopaedic Association – Emerging Leader
AO Spine - Associate Member
Cervical Spine Research Society
North American Spine Society
Scoliosis Research Society
One of the goals of 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.
As of May 04, 2017, Dr. Lebl reported no financial interest relationships with healthcare industry.
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, the 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.
Stanford – M.D.
Wharton – M.B.A
University of Chicago – B.S., B.A.
Hospital for Special Surgery
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
New York, Florida
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS)
The Spine Journal
Global Spine Journal
Clinical Spine Surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Orthopaedic Journal at Harvard Medical School - Associate Editor (2006-2009)
Orthopaedic Journal at Harvard Medical School - Editor in Chief (2009-2010)
Lebl DR, Girardi FP, Hughes A, Cammisa FP. “Chapter 28: Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty” Master Techniques in Orthopedic Surgery – The Spine 3rd Edition. Edited by Thomas Zdeblick & Todd Albert. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Lebl DR, Girardi FP. “Total Facet Replacement” – The Spine. Edited by Vaccaro, Su, Chiba, Dvorak, Mayer, Rajasekaran, Vialle, Wang, Youssef. Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers
Lebl DR, Girardi FP, Hughes A, Cammisa FP. “Lumbar Total Disc Replacement”- Master Techniques in Orthopedic Surgery – The Spine – 3rd Edition. Edited by Thomas Zdeblick & Todd Albert. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Lebl DR, Sethi RK, Anderson PA Harris MB. “Chapter 5 - Clearing the Cervical Spine” in Spine Trauma. 2nd Edition. Alan M. Levine MD, Frank J. Eismont MD, Steven R. Garfin MD, Alexander R. Vaccaro MD, PhD, and Jack E. Zigler MD. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Saunders (Baltimore) pp. 55-65.
Li W, Lebl DR, Wood KB. “Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures” Controversies in Spine Surgery: Evidence-Based Treatment Recommendations, Ed: Vaccaro, Eck. Thieme Publishers, pp 59-68.
Schmitz M, Lebl D, Harris MB. “Chapter 12: Imaging of the Thoracic and Lumbar Spine During the Emergency Department Evaluation”. Spine and Spinal Cord Trauma: Evidence-Based Management. Ed: Vaccaro, Fehlings, Dvorak. Thieme Medical Publishers, Thieme Germany, 2010, pp95-108.
Schmitz M, Lebl D, Harris MB. “Chapter 18: The Benefits of Early Stabilization of Spinal Fractures in the Trauma Patient.” Spine and Spinal Cord Trauma: Evidence-Based Management. Ed: Vaccaro, Fehlings, Dvorak. Thieme Medical Publishers, Thieme Germany, 2010, pp157-165.
Lebl DR, Urban M. “Chapter 26: Perioperative Care of the Complex Spine Surgery Patient” Perioperative Care of the Orthopedic Patient Edited by MacKenzie, Cornell, Memtsoudis. Springer, New York, NY.
Lebl DR. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2017 Sep;10(3):407-408.
Lebl DR, Bono CM. Update on the Diagnosis and Management of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2015. Nov;23(11):648-60
Carrier C, Bono CM, Lebl DR. Evidence Based Analysis of Adjacent Segment Degeneration and Disease Following ACDF: A Systematic Review Spine J. 2013 Oct;13(10):1370-8.
Lebl DR, Bono CM, Velmahos G, Metkar U, Nguyen J, Harris MB. Vertebral Artery Injury Associated with Blunt Cervical Spine Trauma – A Multivariate Regression Analysis. Spine 2013 Jul 15;38(16):1352-61.
Aichmair A, Herzog RJ, Perino G, Lebl DR. Recovery after Cervical Decompression Surgery for the Treatment of Crowned Dens Syndrome Causing Progressive Neurological Decline: A Case Report HSS J. 2014 Feb;10(1):83-7.
Lebl D. Bone Morphogenetic Protein in Complex Cervical Spine Surgery: A Safe Biologic Adjunct? World J Orthop. 2013 April 18;4(2):53-7.
Lebl DR, Girardi FP. Isolated Cervical Spine Facet Joint Tumoral Calcinosis. Spine J. 2013 Feb;13(2):208-9.
Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, Wright TM, Abjornson C. The Mechanical Performace of Cervical Total Disc Replacements In Vivo – Prospective Retrieval Analysis of Prodisc-C Devices. Spine 2012 Dec 15;37(26):2151-60.
Lebl DR, Hughes A, Cammisa FP, O’Leary PF. Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: Pathophysiology, Clinical Presentation, and Treatment. HSS Journal 2011 7(2) 170-178.
Lebl DR, Bono CM, Metkar U, Grottkau B, Wood KB. Bioabsorbable Anterior Cervical Plate Fixation for Single Level Spondylosis – Early Clinical and Radiographic Experience. Spine J 2011 Nov; 11(11): 1002-8.
Lebl D, Sama AA, Pumberger M, Kotwal S, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP.
Reamed Transacral Interbody Fusion for L5-S1 Pseudoarthrosis: A Novel Salvage Technique in 10 Patients. J Spinal Disord Tech, 2013 Aug;26(6):334-41.
Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Sama AA, Mo F, Girardi FP. Posterior Transacral Transvertebral Reamed Lumbar Interbody Fusion for L5-S1 Arthrodesis. Techniques in Orthopaedics Sept 2012, 27(3): 219-221.
Lebl D, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, Wright TM, Abjornson C. In Vivo Functional Performance of Failed Prodisc-L Devices – Retrieval Analysis of Lumbar Total Disc Replacements, Spine 2012 Sep 1;37(19):E1209-17.
Lebl DR “Minimally Invasive Lateral Access Surgery” – Lingnan Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Meeting – Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China, May 18, 2013 (keynote speaker).
* Lebl DR, Taher F, Cammisa FP, Wright T, Abjornson C. Topographic 3D Laser Surface Analysis of Wear and Deformation of Retrieved Total Disc Replacements Fourth Annual Meeting of the Cervical Spine Research Society – Asia Pacific Section, 4th Annual Meeting, Seoul Korea, April 13, 2013. * Awarded Best Podium Presentation
Lebl DR, Boachie-Adjei O, Akbarnia BA, Gogia J, Krajbich IJ, Woo R, Rahm M, King A, Cunningham M. Treatment of Thoracolumbar / Lumbar Adolescent Idiopathic Curves (Lenke 5C): Anterior vs Posterior Approach with Modern Instrumentation. Complex Spine Study Group. Scoliosis Research Society – 47th Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2012.
Lebl DR “Minimally Invasive Surgery for the Degenerative Lumbar Spine”, Hokkaido University Hospital, Sapporo, Japan, September 6th, 2011.
Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, Wright T, Abjornson C. The In Vivo Wear Patterns, Surface Properties, and Fixation of Cervical Total Disc Replacements – A Retrieval Analysis of Prodisc-C Devices Cervical Spine Research Society – Scottsdale, AZ, December 10, 2011.
Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, Lee S, Wright T, Abornson C. In Vivo Wear Properties from Thirty Explanted Prodisc-C Devices – Retrieval Analysis of Cervical Total Disc Replacements. EuroSpine - Milan, Italy, October 19-20, 2011.
*Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, Lee S, Wright TM, Abjornson C. Retrieval Analysis of Cervical Total Disc Replacements – A Study of In vivo Wear, Surface Properties, and Fixation. International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques, Copenhagen, Denmark July 14-16, 2011. *Thomas S. Whitecloud Award Nominee
Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, Lee S, Mo F, Wright TM, Abjornson C. Retrieval Analysis of Lumbar Total Disc Replacements – A Study of in vivo Wear, Surface Properties, and Fixation. International Meeting of Advanced Spine Techniques Copenhagen, Denmark July 16th, 2011.
Lebl DR, Metkar U, Grottkau B, Wood KB. Bioabsorbable Anterior Cervical Plate Fixation for Single Level Spondylosis – Early Clinical and Radiographic Experience. North American Spine Society, 25th Annual Meeting Oct 7, 2010.
Lebl DR, Cammisa FP, Girardi FP, PDL scientific exhibit. The Performance of a Lumbar Total Disc Replacement in vivo: A Retrieval Analysis of Wear Properties and Fixation. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA February 7-11, 2012 (Scientific Exhibit).
Taher, F, Girardi FP, Sokunbi GO, Hughes AP, Pumberger M, Sama AA, Nguyen J, Cammisa FP, Lebl DR. Radiographic Predictors of Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy Severity and Outcome. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2013.
Cervical Spine Biomechanics
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Safety and Complication Avoidance
Motion Preserving Spine Procedures