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
  • Complex Spinal Instrumentation
  • Complex Spinal Reconstruction
  • Complex Spinal Surgery
  • Computed Tomography (CT Scan)
  • Deformity Correction
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Lumbar Spine Surgery
  • Microsurgical and Minimally Invasive Techniques
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Neck Surgery
  • Scoliosis Surgery
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Spine Decompression
  • Spine Reconstruction
  • Spine Tumor Removal And Reconstruction
  • Surgery For Spinal Tumors
  • Surgery For Spinal Vascular Malformations
  • Thoracic Spine Surgery
  • X-Ray
View all 23 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Arachnoid Cysts
  • Back Pain in Athletes
  • Cervical Infections
  • Cervical Myelopathy
  • Cervical Tumors
  • Chronic Back Pain
  • Complex Spinal Disorders
  • Degenerative Spine Disease
  • Facet Joint Syndrome
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
  • Herniated Disc
  • Infection of the Spine
  • Kyphosis
  • Lumbar Radiculopathy
  • Musculoskeletal Impairments
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
  • Myelography
  • Neck Pain
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Radiculopathy
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal Cancer
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Deformity
  • Spinal Fractures
  • Spinal Metastases
  • Spinal Neoplasms
  • Spinal Vascular Disorders
  • Spine Pain
  • Spine Tumors
  • Spondylitis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylolysis
  • Spondylosis
  • Stenosis - Spinal
View all 36 Specialties +


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About Richard Schlenk, MD

Dr. Schlenk is the Neurosurgery Residency Training Program Director.
Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic
Spinal Surgery
Cleveland, OH USA

Residency - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-University Hospital
Newark, NJ USA

Internship - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-University Hospital
General Surgery
Newark, NJ USA

Medical Education - UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School
Newark, NJ USA

Undergraduate - Kean University
Union, NJ USA

Professional Highlights

  • Neurosurgery Residency Training Program Director


  • Neurological Surgery

Specialty Interests

Complex Spinal Reconstruction, Spinal Tumors

Awards & Honors

  • Scholarship in Teaching Award 2008
  • Teacher of the Year, 2004-05, 2005-06
  • Mayfield Award in Spinal Cord Research
  • American Red Cross Hero, 2004


  • American Board of Neurological Surgeons: Diplomat
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeon: Member
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeon: Member
  • AANS/CNS Joint Spine Section: Member
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Richard Schlenk, 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 8/23/2019, Dr. Schlenk has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. 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.

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

196 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
4.9 out of 5
Explains 4.9
Listens 4.8
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

60 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Feb 20, 2020

Dr Schlenk went out of his way to explain all his answers and help my wife feel good about the diagnosis,future care and He answered all her questions. He is compassionate and a caring Dr.

Reviewed on Feb 11, 2020

Very good service and very good advice from Dr. Schlenk he took a good amount of time explaining my situation and condition so I really feel comfortable with it when I left

Reviewed on Jan 28, 2020

Dr Schlenk is an extremely skilled surgeon who responds to his patients' mental, emotional and physical needs.

Reviewed on Jan 14, 2020

Dr Shlenk is great

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2020

Dr. Schlenk really cares about you as a person! he does not rush you through ur appointment. he's caring and personable. and I am thrilled with the excellent outcome from my surgery! I have nothing but praise for my entire Cleveland Clinic experience!

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2020

Dr. Schlenk is tops in his field and an excellent surgeon!

Reviewed on Jan 2, 2020

If I could rate *Dr. Schlenk higher I would but you only go up to 5.

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

Due to the urgency and seriousness of this urgent surgery Dr Schlenk covered all and any scenarios so we would know what ,why ,and how he would care for me with his team. I was so impressed as a Nurse, to be treated with such high regard. He's so patient and allotted my son and I to process the procedure and to consider any questions. Nothing was off the table. I love dr Schlenk. I wish there were more drs like him

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

Dr Schlenk is a good listener. He is kind and has a wonderful sense of humor . Takes time like you are his only patient.

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

Dr Schlenk is an excellent physician, who is very kind and caring!!!

Reviewed on Dec 13, 2019

Everyone was easy to talk to and very respectful all the way from the receptionist at the front desk all the way to the doctor. The Doctor was very kind and respectful. He took me to speak with us and answer all of our questions. I would recommend the doctor and the entire staff to anyone. Dr. Schlenk is probably one of the nicest doctors that I have seen.

Reviewed on Dec 13, 2019

I had a really good experience by seeing the doctor. I am grateful that Dr. Schlenk is my doctor.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

I tell people if they want the best treatment they need to go here. also they have the best of the best for doctors. dr Schlenk gave me my life back. if it weren't for him I would be in a wheelchair an not be able to walk Thank God n praise God. he is a terrific person n a very good friend. we have a true friend relationship I will n always feel honored to have him for my surgeon n friend!!

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

Dr. Schlenk and his staff have all been acutely aware of making sure I get an appointment as soon as needed. I believe that Dr. Schlenk has seen me during his lunch time. I often communicate using my chart, and his staff especially Rachel W. and Lauren are great in that I get answers by phone or messages often the same day! The followed up on pain management and surgical expectations as requested and medications is in my opinion the best I've seen from most of the Dr. experiences at the Cleveland Clinic.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

If I could give Dr Schlenk and his team a higher rating I would. I was told what to expect after my surgeries and how long I it will take to heal. The healing went as explained, it took time. My pain in my back while its still present, but the unbearable levels of 7's - 8's on a scale of 1-10 are now around a 2. My GP Dr. Bales first spoke to me about my ongoing back issues and he recommended Dr. Schlenk to me. Both Dr Schlenk and Bales worked together better for my welfare than any other caregivers Ive experienced of my 60 plus years. Together they define the ultimate in what a care giving team should look like.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

I spoke earlier about this. There is no team better that I've seen for either myself or my wife than Dr. Schlenk and Dr. Bales and their teams.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

Without exaggerating , I can say Dr. Schlenk changed the trajectory of my life for the next 20 (and likely final) years of my life.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2019

Anyone considering a lumbar fusion should consult with Dr. Schlenk and his team.

Reviewed on Dec 5, 2019

Dr. Schlenk is caring/empathetic, respectful and an attentive listener. He is also focused, efficient and a skilled surgeon.

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2019

*Dr. Schienk, and his entire staff, is the best.

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2019

*Dr. Jason Kenneth Hsieh was just great. He listened to me and I felt he respected me as a patient.

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2019

i honestly can NOT thank Dr. Schlenk enough for working with me. His professionalism and courteous attitude was such a pleasure.

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2019

it was very clear from the beginning that Dr. Schlenk was very interested and concerned about my recovery from my surgery. he is terrific!

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2019

Dr. listened attentively to my concerns and gave a clear explanation of my problem

Reviewed on Oct 9, 2019

Dr Schlenk talked to us for 45 minutes. He told us what to expect and made an effort to expedite surgery. Unfortunately another issue had to be addressed before spine surgery. Dr Schlenk was wonderful. We are so blessed to have him on our side.

Reviewed on Sep 27, 2019

Dr. Schlenk has nothing but my best interest in mind - he is excellent!

Reviewed on Sep 26, 2019

Both NP Rachel and MD Schlenk extremely professional, courteous and thoughtful. Would highly recommend to others.

Reviewed on Sep 26, 2019

Dr. Schlenk was excellent

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2019

The process of making an appointment was long and frustrating. I was put on hold and transferred numerous times. As for the appointment itself, it was more than I could have asked for. Dr Schlenk was extremely thorough, took his time and had a wonderful chairside manner.

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

couldn't ask for a nicer doctor. I left feeling I was in good hands and confident I would soon start feeling better under his care.

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019


Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

Dr. Schlenk is a highly skilled neurosurgeon who is sought out by many individuals. This makes it difficult to obtain an appt. There should be some way for exisisting patients to get an appt in a more timely manner when needed.

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

Dr. Schlenk is fantastic. He is so intelligent, yet takes his time chosing what and how he speaks to you so you understand where he is coming from, that it makes sense to you. He makes sure that you - and family - are involved in the dialogue and decision making. Will not give this physician up!

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2019

I tell anyone who tells me that they have serious spinal issues about Dr. Schlenk and his staff - "Go see him for a second opinion".

Reviewed on Sep 13, 2019

Great doctor. Very pleased.

Reviewed on Aug 29, 2019

outstanding and would rate this doctor one if the best based on the helpful explanations, answers to questions and concern that I understand.

Reviewed on Aug 29, 2019

Dr Schlenk is terrific. He is a superior doctor and I have every trust in him. I highly recommend him to anyone!!

Reviewed on Aug 24, 2019

*Dr. Schlenk was concern with us being from out of state he gave us his cell number to reach him immediately since he knew we were flying back home. He was truly concerned.

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2019

Dr Schlenk was patient, thorough, and gave me every possible option for care. He took his time and explained everything.

Reviewed on Jul 26, 2019

I was directed to Dr Schlenk for a second opinion regarding neck surgery for an ununited unstable odontoid fracture after another surgeon had suggested an occiput to C5 fusion. Dr Schlenk performed a C!/2 fusion with hardware and a bone graft. I am delighted with the result and have much more neck movement than I would have had with the first suggestion. I had absolute confidence in him and his team and have done well!

Reviewed on Jul 25, 2019

Dr. Schlenk and his Fellow(?) were wonderful: kind, caring, listened to questions and concerns, answered thoroughly and with wisdom and in laymen's terms. Took the time to read the MRI and give serious thought to best "next steps/procedures." Dr. Schlenk came highly recommended...and, it now appears, for good reason.

Reviewed on Jul 18, 2019

I jokingly told him that I was hoping for a magical cure. I feel he gave me the best possible options and actually cared. I had been to another doctor and was clueless but I truly understand now. I m extremely happy with the care he is providing.

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2019

the doctor himself stuck is head in the door to say he was running behind and would be right with us. We know it's hard to run on time when seeing patients. Acknowledging that fact, goes along way with most people.

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2019

we came over 900 miles to see the MD, so we knew we needed to be patient as well as the provider did not rush through our appointment, but took the time to discuss everything in detail

Reviewed on Jun 27, 2019

Dr Schlenk is the all around Best!!!!

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2019

Dr. Schlenk was a great advocate for my health and helped me make a life changing decision. I am grateful for his service.

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2019

Dr. Schlenk was very nice, pleasant, he listened, was informative, proffesional

Reviewed on Jun 6, 2019

Dr. Schlenk took all the time I required to fully explain test results and all available options. Great bedside manner, has a very good sense of humor and very professional.

Reviewed on May 31, 2019

Dr Schlenk did an excellent job explaining the problem and his procedure.

Reviewed on May 23, 2019

Awesome care from Dr Schlenk and his team

Reviewed on May 23, 2019

Dr Schlenck very attentively sat down with me to explain his role in the care for my back/spine. referring me to Pain Management. Explaining surgery would not be necessary yet if ever.

Reviewed on May 23, 2019

She made me feel at ease about having surgery on my back and about the doctor.

Reviewed on May 16, 2019

Wonderful surgical team! Wonderful physician's assistants.

Reviewed on May 9, 2019

God sent. Fantastic Dr. Fantastic person.

Reviewed on Apr 25, 2019

Dr. Schlenk was truly professional AND empathetic to my concerns and issues. Excellent eye contact, did not make me feel he was in a hurry or that I was rushed out the door. He made me feel he was committed to helping and finding the best answer for my care. Respected the fact of my love of exercise and running and wanting to help me still be able to continue with increased comfort.

Reviewed on Apr 20, 2019

Loved my dr. & staff. *Dr. Schlenk.

Reviewed on Apr 18, 2019

loved my doctor and all the staff. my Anesthesiologist was excellent.

Reviewed on Apr 10, 2019

I had a previous surgery in Oct.2011 and I would recommend this provider. I have returned to him with some similar issues because of his care.

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2019

I was so worried about my back surgery, but *Dr. Schlenk put me at ease. I will recommend him to anyone needing surgery. He is the BEST.

Reviewed on Mar 20, 2019

I was very impressed with how concerned Dr Schlenk was with my level of pain. he was very comforting that this pain could be fixed and he confident he could help me manage my pain level

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