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 7/9/2019, 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

120 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
4.6 out of 5
Explains 4.6
Listens 4.8
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.7
Knows Medical History 4.4
Time Spent with Patient 4.6
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.6

17 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Jul 5, 2019

Very impressed with Dr.'s Benzel knowledge and experience in handling my injury

Reviewed on Jul 5, 2019

I am very impressed with Dr. Benzels knowledge and experience concerning my injury .

Reviewed on Jun 19, 2019

This doctor is simply amazing and is a credit to the Cleveland Clinic name and reputationIt'll be a sad day indeed when he retires!

Reviewed on Jun 19, 2019

Dr Benzel is very compassionate and knowledgeable

Reviewed on May 7, 2019

dr. benzel is a wonderful, warm caring person. He shows his concern and gives you confidence that you will be well taken care of. I love Dr. Benzel as a doctor .

Reviewed on May 7, 2019

Dr. Benzel actually went down the hall and brought in Dr. Pelle to continue in my care. both doctors and staff working with them were compassionate and personable and seemed to really care about me.

Reviewed on Apr 5, 2019

Not only did I see Dr. Benzel but also several other physicians who participated in the discussion of my symptoms and next steps. I felt that Dr. Benzel was very engaged in the conversation with me. I was encouraged that surgery was not his initial solution, rather in my case it was not a guarantee of freedom from pain. I very much trusted Dr. Benzel assessment.

Reviewed on Apr 5, 2019

Dr. Benzel actually thanked me for being a good patient, he said I was very pleasant, friendly, polite, easy to work with!! That's never happened . . . with most physicians at home, I feel like I'm just another body they have to see in a given amount of time they have to make a diagnosis. It was a very pleasant experience for me as well.

Reviewed on Mar 29, 2019

*Dr. Benzel and his team were awesome - did a fantastic job.

Reviewed on Mar 19, 2019

Dr. Benzel takes the time you need and listens to my concerns.

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2019

Dr.Benzel was very compassionate and listened to all my concerns.

Reviewed on Mar 12, 2019

I appreciate that Dr Benzel really looked you in the eye when he talked to you and at eye level. He was straight to the point in a very caring way.

Reviewed on Feb 6, 2019

Both Dr. Pirasch (?), who did the initial intake, and Dr. Benzel, were great. /All/ my concerns were addressed and questions answered.

Reviewed on Jan 23, 2019

Dr Benzel and staff were exceptionally friendly and attentive! Dr Benzel made great effort to ensure I understood everything!

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2019

I am very impressed with Dr Benzal. He explained my test results thoroughly and answered all of my questions in a very understandable way

Reviewed on Dec 27, 2018

we travel a long way to see Dr Benzel because he provides top notch, quality care. very grateful to be in his care

Reviewed on Dec 4, 2018

This was my first meeting with Dr. Benzel who told me the results for that visit's x-ray and a recent mri and his intention to review films with other doctors to determine next steps in my care. Dr. Benzel was patient and pleasant and I trust I am in good hands with him.

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