Mesfin A. Lemma, MD| Spine Surgery | MedStar Health
Mesfin A. Lemma

Mesfin A. Lemma, MD
Provider is directly employed by MedStar Health

4.7 out of 5 (1120 reviews)

Specialties: Spine Surgery

Languages: English


About me

Dr. Lemma is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon, specializing in the surgical treatment of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine disorders. He sees patients in Bel Air, Rosedale / White Marsh, and in Baltimore at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He currently serves as division chief of spine surgery as well as director of minimally invasive spine surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.

Pursuing a career in orthopaedic surgery seemed a natural fit to Dr. Lemma's background as a mechanical engineer. After completing his residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, he served as division chief of Johns Hopkins Orthopaedic and Spine Surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital, prior to transitioning to MedStar Orthopaedic Institute in 2014.

Dr. Lemma's areas of intellectual interest and clinical expertise center around minimally invasive spine surgery. Using tubular retractors in lieu of traditional open surgery, state-of-the-art technologies, and computer-assisted navigation allows Dr. Lemma to deliver to his patients the best solutions with the least amount of invasion. A large portion of his practice also focuses on spinal problems in the elderly, rheumatoid arthritis of the spine, spinal deformity, and revision spinal surgery.

Dr. Lemma remains active in resident and surgeon education, and was honored to be the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award from the Johns Hopkins University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in 2014. He has also been involved in developing innovative spine surgical techniques and new technologies and relates his experiences to other surgeons, both from the podium as well as in smaller teaching seminars. It has been a privilege for Dr. Lemma to be listed by both U.S. News and World Report's and Castle Connolly in their lists of Top Doctors in the U.S., as well as being named among the Top 100 Spine Surgeons in the U.S. by Becker's Healthcare. He was repeatedly named a Top Doctor by Baltimore magazine, most recently in 2023.

Read Dr. Lemma's CV.

Conditions I treat:

Mid-back (Thoracic):

Lower back (Lumbar):

Procedures I perform:
Neck (Cervical):

Mid and lower back (Thoraco-Lumbar):

Clinical areas of focus

  • Cervical Spine Fusion
  • Complex Spine Deformities
  • Disc Replacement
  • Lumbar Spine Fusion
  • Myelopathy Surgery
  • Robotic Spine Surgery
  • Spine Fracture
  • Spine Revision
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Conditions and procedures

Conditions I treat

  • Cauda Equina Syndrome
  • Cervical Disc Degeneration
  • Cervical Herniated Disc
  • Cervical Radiculopathy
  • Cervical Spinal Stenosis
  • Cervical Spine Fracture
  • Complex Spine Deformities
  • Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
  • Herniated Disc
  • Junctional Kyphosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Lumbar Scoliosis
  • Lumbosacral Radiculopathy
  • Myelopathy
  • Neurogenic Claudication
  • Post Laminectomy Kyphosis
  • Post Laminectomy Syndrome
  • Radiculopathy
  • Ruptured Intervertebral Disc
  • Sciatica
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Cord Compression
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Deformity
  • Spine Fracture
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylosis With Myelopathy
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Procedures I perform

  • Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery In The Cervical Spine
  • Back Surgery
  • Cervical Decompression
  • Cervical Laminoplasty
  • Cervical Laminotomy
  • Cervical Spine Fusion
  • Cervical Spine Revision
  • Cervical Spine Surgery
  • Complex Spine Surgery
  • Decompression Laminectomy
  • Disc Replacement
  • Disc Surgery
  • Diskectomy
  • Instrumented Anterior Cervical Discectomy, Fusion (ACDF)
  • Laminectomy
  • Laminoplasty
  • Lateral Access Spine Surgery
  • Low Back Surgery
  • Lumbar Spine Fusion
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Discectomy
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Fusion
  • Myelopathy Surgery
  • Occipito Cervical Fusion
  • Posterior Cervical Laminectomy And Fusion
  • Posterior Lumbar Laminectomy
  • Posterior Lumbar Laminectomy With Fusion, Without Instrumentation
  • Posterior Lumbar Laminectomy With Instrumentation And Fusion
  • Robotic Spine Surgery
  • Scoliosis Surgery
  • Spinal Cord Surgery
  • Spinal Cyst Removal
  • Spine Deformity Correction Surgery
  • Spine Fusion
  • Spine Instrumentation
  • Spine Microsurgery
  • Spine Reconstruction
  • Spine Revision
  • Surgery For Sciatica
  • Surgical Treatment Of Myelopathy
  • Thoracic Laminectomy
  • Vertebrae Surgery
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Practice locations

Distance from Change LocationEnter your Location

9101 Franklin Square Drive
Suite 200
Baltimore, MD, 21237


Fax 443-444-4775

Get Directions

miles away

Fax 443-444-4775

3333 North Calvert Street
Suite 655
Baltimore, MD, 21218

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miles away

12 Medstar Boulevard
Suite 300
Bel Air, MD, 21015


Fax 443-444-4775

Get Directions

miles away

Fax 443-444-4775


MedStar Health accepts most major health insurance plans. If you are uncertain as to whether your individual health insurance plan is accepted at MedStar Health, please call your insurance company.

  • List of insurance plans we accept
    • Carefirst BlueChoice Opt Out Plus Open Access (POS)
    • United Golden Rule
    • Tricare Reserve Select
    • Aetna HMO
    • CareFirst Blue Card Program (Out-of-area BCBS plans)
    • Kaiser Medicare Plus
    • United Erickson Advantage Plans
    • HealthyBlue PPO
    • United Nursing Home Plan (C-SNP
    • United Choice Plus
    • United Select HMO - EPO/NPP
    • Innovation Health: Open Network Only Plus
    • Carefirst EPO
    • United Options (PPO) (includes Empire PPO)
    • Aetna Student Health Insurance
    • United Optimum Choice
    • United Community Plan - Maryland Health Choice Program
    • Innovation Health: POS Plus
    • Tricare East Select
    • Carefirst Blue Preferred PPO
    • Aetna Managed Choice (POS)
    • Innovation Health: Open POS II
    • Cigna HMO Open Access
    • Cigna Achieve Medicare (HMO C-SNP)
    • United MD IPA (HMO)
    • Tricare for Life East
    • Cigna True Choice Medicare (PPO)
    • Cigna PPO and PPO Plus
    • United Mamsi Life & Health
    • United Select Plus (POS)
    • HumanaChoice Honor’s plan PPO
    • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS) (PPO)
    • Medicaid - Maryland
    • Innovation Health: Indemnity
    • CareFirst Group Medicare Advantage
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (POS)
    • Aetna HMO-Open Access/Select OA
    • CareFirst (NCA) Indemnity
    • CareFirst MedStar Select PPO
    • United Core Essential (HMO)
    • United Navigate
    • Aetna Managed Choice Open Access (POS)
    • Aetna Signature Administrator PPO/TPA
    • Carefirst BlueChoice Opt Out Open Access
    • CareFirst Administrators
    • Aetna HealthFund/Health Network Option OA
    • Aetna Traditional Choice (PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO Plans
    • Carefirst BlueChoice Open Access
    • Medicaid - District of Columbia
    • Federal Employee Program (Std/Basic PPO/Blue Focus)
    • Innovation Health: Network Only Plus
    • Innovation Health: HMO & EPO Plus
    • Veterans Affairs Community Care Network (VA CCN)
    • United Optimum Choice Preferred (POS) & OCI Direct (HMO)
    • Aetna Open Choice (PPO)
    • Cigna HMO & Network (HMO)
    • Aetna Choice POS & Choice POS II
    • D-SNP)
    • Virginia Premier
    • Cigna POS/Network POS
    • CareFirst Group Medicare Advantage prescription drug benefit (PPO)
    • Carefirst Healthy Blue (HMO/POS)
    • WellPoint Maryland - Maryland Health Choice
    • Aetna Select HMO/HealthFund/Health Network
    • Cigna TotalCare (HMO D-SNP)
    • CareFirst Maryland Indemnity or PPO
    • MedStar Family Choice DC Healthcare Alliance
    • Beech Street PPO
    • Kaiser Select
    • Police and Fire Clinic
    • Carefirst BlueChoice HMO
    • Innovation Health: Open POS Plus
    • CareFirst NASCO
    • Cigna POS Open Access & Open Access Plus
    • Cigna Alliance Medicare (HMO) |
    • Cigna Preferred Medicare
    • I-SNP
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature-Added Choice
    • HumanaChoice PPO
    • Priority Partners - Maryland Health Choice
    • Aetna Open HMO/Open HMO Option/Open EPO Plus
    • Kaiser HMO Plus and DHMO Plus Member
    • Kaiser Medicare Advantage Signature and Select
    • United Group Medicare Advantage Plans
    • Kaiser Flexible Choice
    • Uniformed Services Family Health Plan (USFHP)
    • Veterans Affairs Community Care Network
    • Cigna Choice Fund PPO
    • Maryland Point of Service Plan (MPOS)
    • United Choice
    • Innovation Health: PPO
    • Tricare East Prime
    • WellPoint Maryland
    • MedStar Family Choice DC Healthy Families
    • CareFirst MedStar PPO
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ Open Access (POS)
    • Traditional Medicare Fee for Service
    • Employee Health Plan (EHP)
    • Cigna Network Open Access
    • Medicaid - Virginia
    • United Medicare Advantage DSNP District of Columbia
    • United MD IPA Preferred (POS)
    • United GEHA (for all other states) Compass Rose
    • Cigna EPO
    • Kaiser Signature
    • Cigna True Choice Plus Medicare (PPO)
    • United AARP Medicare Complete
    • Innovation Health: POS
    • CareFirst BC/BS Advantage Core/Enhanced
    • United Student Resources
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ EPO (Aetna Health Fund)
    • Health Services for Children with Special Needs (HSCSN)
    • UnitedHealthcare Individual Exchange Plans
    • Kaiser Select-Added Choice
    • Cigna Indemnity
    • Coventry Health Care National Network PPO
    • MedStar Family Choice - Maryland Health Choice
    • First Health PPO
    • Coventry of Delaware HMO/PPO
    • Coventry Health Care of Virginia
    • Great-West Healthcare POS/CIGNA



Board Certification: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery

Fellowship: Johns Hopkins University (2003)

Residency: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2002)

Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry Office of the Registrar (1997)


  • 2015-2021, 2023 Baltimore Magazine Top Doctors
  • 2015-2016 Best Doctors in America
  • 2014 Teacher of the Year Award, Johns Hopkins University, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • 2014 Becker's Top Spine Surgeons in the US
  • 2011 Becker's Top 100 Spine Surgeons in the US

Ratings and reviews

  • Explanations the care provider gave you about your problem or condition

  • Extent to which the care provider listened to you

  • Care provider's discussion of any proposed treatment (options, risks, benefits, etc.)

  • Care provider's efforts to include you in decisions about your care

  • Concern the care provider showed for your questions or worries

  • Likelihood of recommending this care provider to others

  • Apr 10, 2024

    A very positive experience. Very patient oriented . My Condition was explained in detail. All questioned were answered to my full understanding. My MRI was displayed and explained in detail. Treatment options were provided and a course of action was jointly agreed. This visit was a 10/10.

  • Mar 27, 2024

    Dr Lemma is an excellent physician and I am fortunate to be his patient. He is very thorough and cares about his patients.

  • Mar 6, 2024

    Very good, felt cared for and listened to