Photo of Thomas D. Cha, MD, MBA

Thomas D. Cha, MD, MBA

  • Assistant Chief, Orthopaedic Spine Center
  • Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon
  • Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School


Accepting New Patients


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
  • Herniated disc
  • Cervical spine conditions
  • Cervical myelopathy
  • Cervical stenosis
  • Disc excision
  • Laminectomy
  • Lumbar stenosis
  • Lumbar spine conditions
  • Spinal fusion
  • Spine trauma
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Minimally invasive spine surgery
Medical Education
  • MD, MBA, Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Residency, Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship, Rush University Medical Center
Board Certifications
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Waltham: Mass General Waltham
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • AllWays Health (NHP) - ACD
  • AllWays Health (NHP) - PBO
  • 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
  • BMC HealthNet Mass Health MCO/ACO
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Commonwealth Care Alliance
  • 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
  • Maine Community Health Options (MCHO)
  • MassHealth
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • OSW - Connecticut
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • 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
  • Well Sense Pediatrics

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.

Patient Age Group
Provider Gender


Dr. Thomas 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.

Dr. 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.

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.

News & Events


Orthopaedic Spine Center
55 Fruit Street
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Suite 3A
Boston, MA 02114-2696
Phone: 617-724-8636
Orthopaedics at Mass General Waltham
52 Second Avenue
Building 52, 1st Floor, Suite 1150
Waltham, MA 02451
Phone: 617-724-8636

Back to Top