Department Center for Spine Health
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon Yes
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Primary Location

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus


Additional Locations

Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Cervical Deformity Surgery
  • Cervical Spine Surgery
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Spine Biomechanics
  • Spine Tumor Removal And Reconstruction
  • Surgery For Spinal Tumors
  • Surgery For Spinal Vascular Malformations
View all 8 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Cervical Infections
  • Cervical Myelopathy
  • Cervical Stenosis
  • Cervical Tumors
  • Spinal Cancer
  • Spinal Deformity
  • Spinal Fractures
  • Spinal Neoplasms
  • Spine Tumors
  • Spondylitis
  • Spondylosis
  • Stenosis - Spinal
View all 12 Specialties +


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About Edward Benzel, MD

Dr. Benzel’s major clinical interests embrace many aspects of neurosurgery, but are focused on spinal disorders including cervical spondylosis, syringomyelia, complex spine instrumentation, and spine tumors. Clinical research has encompassed such issues as hydrocephalus, neonatal hemorrhage, cerebrovascular disorders, cranial trauma, critical care, brain death, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), and of course, spinal disorders. From a research perspective, he currently is focusing on Spine biomechanics and clinical research, as well as sports related concussion research. The latter has centered about strategies to reduce risk and increase protection for athletes involved in contact sports.

He has been actively involved in the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Neurological Surgery, North American Spine Society (NASS), World Spinal Column Society, and Cervical Spine Research Society. Dr. Benzel is one of the founding members of the Lumbar Spine Research Society, formed in 2007. He serves on numerous committees, and in multiple different positions of the various societies.

His continual rigorous review of clinical and research content for several professional neurosurgical and spine publications contributes significantly to the body of literature. He was Co-Chairman of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Neurosurgery (2003-2004), and is currently Chairman of the Review Board for the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. He has served as a reviewer for Neurosurgery, Spine, and The Spine Journal, and is an ad hoc reviewer for several other journals.

He has authored 10 textbooks, edited 28 texts, and contributed to over 370 book chapters. His seminal texts, Biomechanics of Spine Stabilization (1st, 2nd & 3rd Editions) and Spine Surgery: Techniques, Complications, Avoidance and Management (1st, 2nd & 3rd Editions) are conceivably the highlights of his publication endeavors.

Dr. Benzel holds 10 patents and has participated in many medical advances. He is perhaps best known as an educator. He initiated and directed the Neurosurgery Residency Training Program, and the Spine Fellowship Programs at the University of New Mexico, and has been instrumental in the development and success of these programs at the Cleveland Clinic. His innovations in Neurosurgery Resident Education have won accolades and numerous awards.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - VA Medical Center
SpineSurgery & Spinal Cord Inj
Albuquerque, NM USA

Fellowship - Medical College of Wisconsin
Spine and Spinal Cord Injury
Milwaukee, WI USA

Residency - Medical College of Wisconsin Clinics
Milwaukee, WI USA

Residency - Medical College of Wisconsin Clinics
General Surgery
Milwaukee, WI USA

Medical Education - Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI USA

Undergraduate - Washington State University
Chemical Engineering
Pullman, WA USA

Professional Highlights

  • Medical Co-Director, Cleveland Clinic Foundation Spine Research Laboratory, 1999-Present
  • Director, Neurosurgery Residency Program, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, May 2002-May 2009 
  • Course Director, Annual Cleveland Spine Review: Hands-On, Cleveland, Ohio, 2000-Present


  • Neurological Surgery

Specialty Interests

Cervical Spondylosis, Spinal Neoplasms, Spine Biomechanics

Awards & Honors

  • Scholarship in Teaching Award, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, 2005
  • Pioneer in Spine Surgery, North American Spine Society, 2006
  • North American Spine Society’s David Selby Award, 2007
  • Finalist, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Parker J. Palmer “Courage to Teach” Award, 2007
  • Paul C. Bucy Award in Neurosurgical Education; The Chicago Review Course in Neurosurgery, February 2011
  • World Federation of Neurological Societies William Beecher Scoville Prize, 2011
  • Honoree at the 13th Congress of Spine Surgery, Sao Paolo Brazil for “outstanding contribution to medical science worldwide” February 2013

Innovations & Patents

  • United States Patent 5,681,312 Spine Construct with Band Clamps, Hansen A. Yuan, Edward C. Benzel, Alex Dinello, Michael H. Wefers, Aaron C. Smith (inventors), issued Oct. 28, 1997 
  • United States Patent 5,800,433 Spinal Column Retaining Apparatus, Edward C. Benzel, Alex Dinello, Hansen Yuan, Michael Wefers (inventors), issued Sept. 1, 1998
  • United States Patent 5,843,082 Cervical Spine Stabilization Method and System, Edward C. Benzel (inventor), issued Dec. 1, 1998 
  • United States Patent 5,713,900 Apparatus for Retaining Bone Portions in a Desired Relationship, Edward C. Benzel (inventor), issued Feb. 3, 1998 
  • United States Patent 6,036,693 Cervical spine Stabilization Method & System, Edward C. Benzel (inventor), issued March 14, 2000 
  • United States Patent 6,193,720 Cervical Spine Stabilization Method & System, Edward C. Benzel (inventor), issued Feb. 27, 2001 
  • United States Patent 6,214,005 Spinal Column Retaining Apparatus, Edward C. Benzel (inventor), issued April 10, 2001
  • United States Patent 6,706,005 Apparatus and Methods for Assessing Loads on Adjacent Bones, Shuvo Roy, Lisa Ferrara, Aaron Fleischman, Edward C. Benzel (inventors), issued March, 2004 
  • United States Patent 7,182,736 B2  Apparatus and Method for Assessing Loads on Adjacent Bones, Shuvo Roy, Aaron Fleischman, Edward C. Benzel, Lisa Ferrara (inventors), issued February 2007


  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • Cervical Spine Research Society
  • World Spine Society, Aug. 2003-Present
  • Society of Neurological Surgeons, 1994-Present
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Edward Benzel, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 6/13/2020, Dr. Benzel has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Royalty Payments. Dr. Benzel receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Prevent Biometrics, Inc.

Right to Future Distribution of Cleveland Clinic Financial Interest. Dr. Benzel may receive future financial benefits from the Cleveland Clinic for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Prevent Biometrics, Inc.

Equity Dr. Benzel owns stock or stock options in the following companies for activities as a founder, inventor, discover, developer:

  • Prevent Biometrics, Inc.

Fiduciary Role. Dr. Benzel serves in a fiduciary capacity, such as an elected officer, director or chief medical officer, for the following companies or other entities:

  • Prevent Biometrics, Inc.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

88 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.8 out of 5
Explains 4.7
Listens 4.9
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.8
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.7

14 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Aug 18, 2020

dr was courtious my interaction with was very good

Reviewed on Aug 12, 2020

Dr. Benzel is incredible! I would recommend him to anyone in the world.

Reviewed on Jun 17, 2020

Dr Benzel is caring and compassionate... I feel he genuinely wants to Help me. In order to help me he needs to see me.

Reviewed on Jun 3, 2020

very good experience, Dr Benzel was very to the point at explaining what was going on with my back, and new which Dr would be the best to take care of my problem.

Reviewed on May 27, 2020

I write this as primarily caregiver for my disabled sister. Too often the good things never get said. Dr. Benzel and his entire staff were superlative. Benzel, in particular, went above and beyond any level of engagement that I have ever experienced from a health care provider, anywhere. He kept in contact during the period of coronavirus-mandated shutdown, contacting me personally to discuss my sister's history, symptoms, and condition. Once the surgery was scheduled, the pre-op visit was smooth and timely and every member of the support staff that we countered was excellent.

Reviewed on Mar 13, 2020

Dr. Benzel was great and I appreciate the time he took with me to answer all my questions and concerns.

Reviewed on Mar 13, 2020

*Dr. Benzel is an excellent physician, from my admission to release I was very impressed with the way I was treated. Also was grateful to be released early bc. of COVID-19.

Reviewed on Jan 15, 2020

The Doctor took time to explain everything to me. I was scared to have surgery again, as I have already had 2 hip replacements. He was wonderful, professional, and cared.

Reviewed on Nov 22, 2019

I have been seeing Dr. Benzel for 5 years and I appreciate his professionalism, warmth, and caring attitude towards me. He listens to my questions and answers with a thorough explanation not acting as though he has many other people to see and things to do.

Reviewed on Nov 20, 2019

I am so happy that Dr. Benzel is a conservative surgeon. all I had to do was increase my neurontinand my pain went away!this should have been rectified earlier by the spine specialist I saw earlier!

Reviewed on Nov 13, 2019

Dr Benzel has given me a peace of mind about my inoperable condition

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2019

For size amazing service. doctor Benzel always top rated.

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2019

I was regularly insulted by the doctor,and he clearly had made up his mind before talking to me. He tried to convince me that I had no pain,no problems,and that it was all about being "a lazy addict". He kept skipping over the area of my back where I have the issues,when he showed me the MRI. It was clear he just wanted to get rid of me. He would not listen to anything that I had to say,and showed me out of his office as fast as possible.

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2019

Dr. Benzel is a very caring person. Always listens and answers my questions. I never felt rushed.

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