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Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Division Chief, Adult Spine

Medical Degree

Harvard Medical School


Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell University


Orthopaedic Spine Surgery, Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University

Other Training

ACCLAIM Scholar (Academic Career Leadership Academy in Medicine): UNC School of Medicine and Gillings School of Global Public Health

Safe Zone Trained

Mental Health First Aid Certified

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, UNC School of Medicine
Associate Chief Medical Officer – Surgical Services – UNC Medical Center
Division Chief, Adult Spine
Academic Advisor – UNC School of Medicine
Chair – UNC Faculty Practice Patient Experience Committee
  • Cervical spine disorders
  • Non-fusion motion-sparing alternatives

UNC Hospitals Spine Center and Neurosurgery Clinic
1350 Raleigh Road
Second Floor
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

  • Patient experience and preferences in cervical spine surgery
  • Novel surgical techniques and non-fusion alternatives in cervical spine surgery
  • Patient-specific implants in cervical spine surgery
  • Data transparency to improve quality and efficiency

(see entire list available at PubMed)

  • Book: Sculco TP, Lim MR, Ranawat A, Pearle A, et al. Hospital for Special Surgery: Orthopaedics Manual. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. 2013.
  • Book: Lee JY, Lim MR, Albert TJ (eds). Challenges in Cervical Spine Surgery. Thieme, New York, NY. 2008.
  • Bible JE, Rihn JA, Lim MR, Brodke DS, Lee JY. Avoiding and managing intraoperative complications during cervical spine surgery. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2015 Dec:23(12):e81-90. PMID: 26519429.
  • Eskildsen SM, Moll S, Lim MR. An algorithmic approach to venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in spine surgery. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2015 Oct;28(8):275-81. PMID: 26327600.
  • McNabb DC, Olcott CW, Del Gaizo DJ, Vaughn BK, Lim MR. Lumbar radiculopathy confounded: Total knee arthroplasty diminishes the patellar tendon reflex. Spine. 2015 Dec;40(23):E1239-43.
  • Olsson E, Jobson M, and Lim MR. Risk factors for dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery. Orthopedics. 2015 Apr:38(4):e319-23.
  • Regan CM, Emmanuel S, Hornik C, Weinhold P, Lim MR. Lateral mass versus hybrid construct for cervical laminectomy and fusion. Orthopedics. 2013 Apr;36(4):e484-8.
  • Nassr A, Lee JY, Bashir RS, Rihn JA, Eck JC, Kang JD, Lim MR. Does incorrect level needle localization during anterior cervical discectomy and fusion lead to accelerated disc degeneration? Spine. 2009 Jan 15;34(2):189-92.
  • Whang PG, Lim MR, Sasso RC, Skelton A, Brown ZB, Greg Anderson D, Albert TJ, Hilibrand AS, Vaccaro AR. Financial incentives for lumbar surgery: a critical analysis of physician reimbursement for decompression and fusion. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2008 Aug;21(6):381-6.
  • Khan MH, Lee JY, Rihn JA, Cassinelli EH, Lim MR, Kang JD, Donaldson WF 3rd. The surgeon as a consultant for medical device manufacturers: what do our patients think? Spine. 2007 Nov 1;32(23):2616-8; discussion 2619.
  • Lee JY, Vaccaro AR, Schweitzer KM Jr, Lim MR, Baron EM, Rampersaud R, Oner FC, Hulbert RJ, Hedlund R, Fehlings MG, Arnold P, Harrop J, Bono CM, Anderson PA, Patel A, Anderson DG, Harris MB. Assessment of injury to the thoracolumbar posterior ligamentous complex in the setting of normal-appearing plain radiography. Spine J. 2007 Jul-Aug;7(4):422-7.
  • Lee JY, Lim MR, Albert TJ. Dysphagia after anterior cervical spine surgery: Pathophysiology, incidence, and prevention. Cervical Spine Research Society, 2005.
  • Sanfilippo JA Jr, Lim MR, Jacoby SM, Laterra R, Harrop JS, Vaccaro AR, Hilibrand AS, Anderson DG, Albert TJ. “Normal” prevertebral soft tissue swelling following elective anterior cervical decompression and fusion. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2006 Aug;19(6):399-401.
  • Lee JY, Hilibrand AS, Lim MR, Zavatsky J, Zeiller SC, Schwartz DM, Vaccaro AR, Anderson DG, Albert TJ. Characterization of Neurophysiologic Alerts During Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery. Spine. 2006 Aug 1;31(17):1916-22.
  • Lee JY, Sharan A, Baron EM, Lim MR, Grossman E, Albert TJ, Vaccaro AR, Hilibrand AS. Quantitative prediction of spinal cord drift after cervical laminectomy and arthrodesis. Spine. 2006 Jul 15;31(16):1795-8.
  • Lim MR, Loder RT, Lyman S, et al. Measurement Error of Lumbar Total Disc Replacement Range-of-Motion. Spine 31(10):E291-E297, 2006.
  • Vaccaro AR, Lim MR, Hurlbert RJ, et al. Surgical Decision Making for Unstable Thoracolumbar Spine Injuries: Results of a Consensus Panel Review by the Spine Trauma Study Group. J Spinal Disord Tech 2006 Feb;19(1):1-10.
  • Lim MR, Lee JY, Vaccaro AR. Surgical Site Infections in the Traumatized Spine. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006 Mar;443:114-119.
  • Lim MR, Girardi FP, Yoon SC, et al. Accuracy of computerized frameless stereotactic image-guided pedicle screw placement into previously fused lumbar spines. Spine 30:1793-1798, 2005.
  • Lim MR, Lee JY, Vaccaro AR. Cervical total disc replacement: Indications and experience. In: Kim DH, Cammisa FP, Fessler RG (eds). Dynamic Reconstruction of the Spine. Thieme, New York, NY, 2006.
  • Lim MR, Girardi FP, Zhang K, et al. Measurement of total disc replacement radiographic range-of-motion: A comparison of two techniques. J Spinal Disord Tech 18:252-6, 2005.
  • Huang RC, Girardi FP, Lim MR, et al. Advantages and Disadvantages of Nonfusion Technology in Spine Surgery. Orthop Clin North Am 36:263-9, 2005.
  • Lim MR, Lee JY, Young P, Hilibrand AS. Unilateral hemi-laminotomy for bilateral decompression (Lumbar sub-laminoplasty). In: Bono, CM, Vaccaro AR (eds). Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Marcel-Dekker, New York, NY, 2006.
  • Huang RC, Lim M, Girardi FP, Cammisa FP. The prevalence of contraindications to total disc replacement in a cohort of lumbar surgical patients. Spine 29:2538-2541, 2004.
  • Lim M, Green DW, Billinghurst JE, et al. Scheuermann’s kyphosis: Safe and effective surgical treatment using multi-segmental instrumentation. Spine 29:1789-94, 2004.
  • Lim MR, Yoon SC, Green DW. Symptomatic spondylolysis: Diagnosis and treatment. Curr Opin Pediatr 16(1):37-46, 2004.
  • Lim MR, Rybak L, Albert TJ. Imaging studies for acute and chronic neck pain. In: Fischgrund JS (editor). Neck Pain: AAOS Monograph Series. 1st ed. Rosemont, Illinois: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 11-25, 2004.
  • Lim M, Wazeka A, Boachie-Adjei O. Ventilator weaning following a staged anterior and posterior spine fusion in a ventilator-dependent patient with severe congenital scoliosis: A case report. Spine 28:E256-59, 2003.
  • Carolina Care Physician Champion of the Year Award, 2019
  • UNC Health Care Friend of Nursing Award, 2017
  • Best Doctors in America, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-2018
  • UNC Health Care and Faculty Physicians Award for Carolina Care Excellence – 2015, 2016, 2017.
  • 2nd Place Resident/Fellow Research Award, 2014
  • Best Papers: Comprehensive, North American Spine Society, 2013.
  • Medical Student Teaching Award, 2nd-Year Musculoskeletal Course, 2011.
  • Best Clinical Poster, Cervical Spine Research Society, 2007
  • Best Basic Science paper, DePuy Spine Fellowship Meeting, 2005.
  • Harvard University: Summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa; John Harvard Scholarship; Barry M. Goldwater National Science Scholarship; Ford Research Grants.
  • Harvard Medical School: HMS National Scholarship; Hartford Foundation/American Federation for Aging Research Geriatric Scholars Grant.
  • Hospital for Special Surgery: Circle of Excellence.
  • Thomas Jefferson University: Commendation Letter of the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff and Administration.
  • Member, North American Spine Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 2005

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