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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 10/2/2021, 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.

Consulting and/or Speaking. Dr. Benzel receives fees of $5,000 or more per year as a paid consultant, speaker or member of an advisory committee for the following companies:

  • Anthem, Inc.

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.

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

134 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
4.7 out of 5
Explains 4.7
Listens 4.7
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.7
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.7

25 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2021

I would recommend Dr. Krpata and have to many,many people. I will not recommend Dr. Benzel to anyone period!!

Reviewed on Sep 3, 2021

Was very pleased with my visit and the information that I received from Dr Benzel. I will be talking with him in the near future

Reviewed on Aug 27, 2021

Dr Benzel is professional, courteous, kind, funny, and knowledgeable. I trust him to make good recommendations about my care, and I enjoy meeting with him.

Reviewed on Aug 4, 2021

We travel a good distance and scheduling has always been able to get mri appointments and physician visit in the same day which helps us a lot

Reviewed on Aug 4, 2021

I wish I could give Dr. Benzel, his NP, and all the staff a rating higher than 5. They're excellent.

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2021

Always recommend Dr B

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2021

Excellent interaction with Dr.

Reviewed on Jun 16, 2021

Dr Benzell was great. He was very through and I really appreciate everything he said and suggested.

Reviewed on Jun 9, 2021

Dr Benzel and his assistant Dr Bill were excellent in explaining my condition. I wish we could have scheduled an appointment with the surgeon that Dr Benzel recommended sooner.

Reviewed on Jun 8, 2021

in reviewing my RX's the dr confused my medication. not good. I noticed it when we got home and called the nurses at the hospital to clear up the confusion

Reviewed on May 21, 2021

Dr. Benzel was empathetic, knowledgeable, patient during or Zoom meeting-in sum, interacted with me like a very good doctor, not merely someone with technical medical knowledge.

Reviewed on May 21, 2021

I would highly recommend that anyone with spinal stenosis issues make their first stop a visit to Dr. Benzel. He spoke to me as a fellow human being, not merely a technical anonymous medical situation. My intention following our Zoom meeting is to follow up at Cleveland Clinic with my spinal medical and surgical treatment.

Reviewed on Apr 9, 2021

Outstanding doctor!

Reviewed on Apr 7, 2021

Dr. Christopher was great. Can't say enough good things about him.

Reviewed on Mar 24, 2021

good visit with Dr. Benzel

Reviewed on Mar 17, 2021

I was seeking a second opinion and coming to Cleveland Clinic was definitely a superior experience for me. I left with trust in the physicians I saw and confidence in my care.

Reviewed on Mar 5, 2021

Dr. Benzel was very informative, professional, thorough in his approach and provided me with different treatment options including non surgical ones. He also arranged a consult with a colleague, in order to provide me services in the city that I live. It was a privilege to me to be able to be evaluated by an expert in this field!

Reviewed on Feb 26, 2021

I have the utmost respect for Dr Benzelin his ability and and decisions

Reviewed on Feb 26, 2021

Dr Benzel got it done

Reviewed on Feb 9, 2021

We had I do believe a small communication issue. The doctor made it seem as if it was my wife's fault that she is always in pain be she doesn't do enough and if she got more sleep she wouldn't hurt so much. Well...when your in extreme pain 24 7 it's pretty hard to get much sleep. Plus for being active she does more than she probably should. She's one tough cookie, there's times I don't know how she pushes through it. However doctor Benzle was very kind and seemed to have a very good bedside manner. Overall your facility is quite impressive.

Reviewed on Jan 29, 2021

Dr. Benzel is the best. He's so easy to talk to, he listens & explains pros & cons of options. He has a sensitive touch, understanding the concerns of the patient.

Reviewed on Jan 27, 2021

Dr. Benzel has surrounded himself and excellent staff. Friendly and highly knowledgeable.

Reviewed on Dec 9, 2020

Dr. Benzel and Dr. Grabel are highly knowledgeable doctors and very good listeners. They took time to answer all questions. It is interesting that their recommendations were different from Dr. Borgess of Mass General Hospital, who referred me to Dr. Benzel. Dr. Borges had advised me to get surgery sooner than later. Dr. Benzel advised me against surgery at this time and pretty much told me to fully engage in activities to keep my spine strong, including back bends. This full flexion has been discouraged by my PT and other doctors and causes pain. Other than that, I very much liked what both doctors had to say, and agree that it would be best to wait for now on having surgery.

Reviewed on Nov 4, 2020

My experiences with Dr. Benzel and his staff have been nothing short of phenomenal over the past ten years.

Reviewed on Oct 6, 2020

Dr Benzel was so caring and understanding of multiple problems I have. He gave facts and never made me feel uncomfortable. I would trust him with my life without hesitation. A true asset to your Cleveland Clinic!

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