John G Heller, MD

Emory Clinic

Baur Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Emory Healthcare Network Physician
Spine (Board certified since 1991)
Orthopaedic Surgery
Areas of Clinical Interest:
anterior lumbar interbody fusi
cervical fusion
disc degeneration
herniated disc
lumbar decompression
lumbar fusion
spinal stenosis
spinal surgery
spinal trauma
spinal tumors
Office(s) Locations:
Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center
59 Executive Park South
Atlanta, GA 30329
404 778-7000

Ortho/Spine Priority Line
404 778-3363
Hospital Affiliation(s):
Emory University Hospital
About Dr. Heller

At Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Heller trained under Dr. Henry Bohlman and Dr. Steven Garfin, two of the founding fathers of modern spine surgery.  Specializing in the research and development of instrumentation in cervical spine surgery, including cervical disc replacement and laminoplasty, Dr. Heller is an internationally renowned lecturer and teacher. 

He started working at Emory in 1989.

Year Started Practicing: 1988
Year Started Practicing at Emory: 1989
Organizational Memberships:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Cervical Spine Research Society
Council of Spine Societies
North American Spine Society
Southern Orthopaedic Association
Major or Recent Publications:
Cervical myelopathy and congenital stenosis from hypoplasia of the atlas. Spine 26(5)E80-6, 2001.

Heller JG, Edwards CC 2nd, Murakami H, Rodts GE (2001) Laminoplasty versus laminectomy and fusion for multilevel cervical myelopathy: an independent matched cohort analysis.  Spine 26(12)1330-6

Edwards CC II, Heller JG, Murakami H.  (2002)  Corpectomy versus laminoplasty for multilevel cervical myelopathy: an independent matched-cohort analysis.  Spine 27(11)1168-75, June 1 

Boden SD, Kang J, Sandhu H. Heller JG (2002)  Use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 to achieve posterolateral lumbar spine fusion in humans: a protective, randomized clinical pilot trial: 2000 Volvo Award in Clinical Studies.  Spine 27(23)2662-73, December 1

Park AE, Heller JG (2004)  Cervical laminoplasty: use of a novel titanium plate to maintain canal expansion-surgical technique.  Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques 17(4)265-71,  Aug

Smucker JD, Rhee JM, Singh K, Yoo.n ST, Heller JG (2006) Increased swelling complications associated with off-label usage of rhBMP-2 in the anterior cervical spine.  Spine 31(24)2813-9, Nov.

Heller JC, Sasso RC,Papadopoulos SM, Anderson PA, Fessler RG, et al. (2009)  Comparison of BRYAN cervical disease arthroplasty with anterior cervical decompression and fusion: clinical and radiographic results of a randomized, controlled clinical trial.  Spine 34(2)101-7

Jarrett CD, Heller JG, Tsai L. (2009)  Anterior exposure of the lumbar spine with an “access surgeon”: morbidity analysis of 265 consecutive cases.  Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques 22(8)559-64.

CIBA Community Service Award

Mario Boui Award
European CSRS

Low Back Pain Research, 2002

Cervical Spine Research Society
Research Award, 1989

Kashiwagi-Suzuki Traveling Fellow
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1996

Teacher of the Year Award
Emory Orthopaedic Resident Selection, 1996
Medical School
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

University Hospital of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH

University Hospital of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH

University of California Medical Center, San Diego, CA