Photo of Thomas D. Cha, MD, MBA

Thomas D. Cha, MD, MBA

  • Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon
  • Instructor in Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School


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Dr. Cha specializes in the treatment of spinal disorders of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. He is particularly interested in the appropriate use of minimally invasive and motion-sparing techniques.



Clinical Interests
  • Adult spine surgery
  • Degenerative spinal conditions
  • Cervical spine
  • Radiculopathy
  • Myelopathy
  • Spondylosis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Herniated nucleus pulposus
Medical Education
  • MD, MBA, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Residency, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship, Rush University Medical Center
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Newton: Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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Dr. Thomas Cha is a board-certified, fellowship trained spine surgeon in the comprehensive Spine Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Cha received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University majoring in molecular biology. He then received his MD and MBA from the Drexel University College of Medicine jointly with the Lebow School of Business. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the New York Orthopaedic Hospital - Columbia University Medical Center serving as a chief resident his final year.

Dr. Cha went on to receive specialized training in spinal surgery at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago under the guidance of world renowned leaders in the field of spine surgery. There he developed the interest and expertise in caring for patients with complex disorders of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

Watch Dr. Cha's Grand Rounds presentation on the Role of Specialists in Accountable Care Organizations.

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Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Cha's research interests include understanding the biological and biomechanical aspects of spinal disorders and treatment. He is also particularly interested in evaluation of new technologies, patient safety and optimization of patient outcomes.


Select Publications:

Su BW, Kim PD, Cha TD, Lee J, April EW, Lee FY, Weidenbaum M, Vaccaro AR. An Anatomical Study of the Mid-lateral Pars Relative to the Pedicle Footprint in the Lower Lumbar Spine. Spine. 34(13), 1355-1362, 2009.

Su BW, Cha TD, Kim PD, Lee J, April EW, Weidenbaum M, Albert TJ, Vaccaro AR. An Anatomic and Radiographic Study of Lumbar Facets Relevant to Percutaneous Transfacet Fixation. Spine , 34(11) E384-390, 2009.

Cha TD, An HS: Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion. In Hecht, A, Colvin, AC, eds: Atlas of Essential Orthopaedic Procedures. AAOS E-book. In Press.

Cha TD, Khan S, Farup C, Phillips F: The Quality Adjusted Life Year. In Rihn J, Albert TJ, Vaccaro AR, eds: The Primer on Value Based Spine Care, Chapter 10. In Press.

Cha TD, Poelstra KA and Ludwig SL: Management of Postoperative Lumbar Wound Infections. In Ludwig SL, Poelstra KA, eds: Arthritis and Arthroplasty: The Spine, Chapter 38, Part 8.

Vaccaro AR, Su BW, Cha TD: New Biomaterials for Cervical Fusion: Resorbable Anterior Plates. In Mummaneni PV, Kanter AS, Wang MY, and Haid RW, eds: Cervical Spine Surgery: Current Trends and Challenges, Chapter 21, Part 3.

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  • Orthopaedics at MG West

    The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery is proud to announce the opening of their new state-of-the-art outpatient facility in Waltham, housing the new Foot & Ankle Center.


Orthopaedic Spine Center
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-724-8636

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