A board-certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship-trained spine surgeon, Dr. Paul P. Vessa welcomes patients at New Jersey Spine Institute in Bedminster and Newton, NJ. He serves as Medical Director of the practice, where he works alongside Dr. James Dwyer, founder of the practice. He also practices at several local hospitals, including Somerset Medical Center, where he has full privileges. Dr. Vessa performs a variety of surgical and conservative spine treatment procedures such as minimally invasive spine surgery including outpatient laminectomy/discectomies, diagnostic and therapeutic spine injections, and reconstructive and trauma surgeries for the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. With a special interest in reconstructive spine surgery, Dr. Vessa specializes in interbody reconstruction procedures of the lumbar and cervical spine. Dr. Vessa performed the first outpatient open laminotomy discectomy in New Jersey in 1995 and assisted Dr. Dwyer as a resident in performing the first arthroscopic microdiscectomy and the first laparoscopically assisted lumbar interbody fusion in New Jersey. Dr. Vessa was one of the first spine surgeons in New Jersey to utilize allograft threaded bone dowels for open lumbar interbody fusion. He feels that his success is attributable primarily to his discipline, perseverance, and hard work. Dr. Vessa dedicates his spare time to playing golf and cycling.
Paul P. Vessa, MD's Videos
Education and Training
Rutgers Medical School MD 1985
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
American Board of Spine Surgery
Paul P. Vessa, MD's Expert Contributions
It depends on your symptoms. If your bulging disc is adversely affecting a specific nerve root and your symptoms include mostly leg pain and you have exhausted conservative care including structured physical therapy, anti inflammatory medication either orally or by fluoroscopic injection then a microscopic discectomy has been shown to be effective. READ MORE
Areas of expertise and specialization
Faculty Titles & Positions
- Assistant Director of Spine Surgery Jersey City Medical Center - Present
- Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School - Present
- Former President of Quality Assurance and Utilization Garden State Orthopedic Network -
- Former Assistant Director of Spine Surgery Jersey City Medical Center -
- Patients’ Choice 5th Anniversary Award 2018 Vitals.com
- Compassionate Doctor Recognition 2015 Vitals.com
- Patients’ Choice Award 2018 Vitals.com
- Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedics Surgeons
- New Jersey Medical Society
- American Medical Association
- International Spine Injection Society
- New Jersey Spine Society
- North American Spine Society
- American College of Spine Surgeons
- St. Mary’s Spine Center, Seton Medical Center, Stanford University Hospital, and Kaiser Hospital Oakland Spine Surgery
- New York University Bellevue Medical Center0General Surgery
- St. Marys Spine Center, Seton Medical Center, Stanford University Hospital, and Kaiser Hospital Oakland0Spine Surgery
Professional Society Memberships
- New Jersey Medical Society American Medical Association International Spine Injection Society New Jersey Spine Society North American Spine Society American College of Spine Surgeons
Teaching and speaking
- Volunteer Orthopaedic Faculty @UMDNJ 1993-1998
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Patient Experience with Dr. Vessa
Get to know Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Paul Vessa, who serves patients throughout the State of New Jersey.
A board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Vessa is the Medical Director of New Jersey Spine Institute, where he works alongside Dr. James Dwyer, MD.
He specializes in interbody reconstruction procedures of the lumbar and cervical spine, with a special area of interest in reconstructive surgery of the spine, treating all aspects of the spine in cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.
His practice includes a full spectrum of conservative and surgical spine treatment modalities, including diagnostic and therapeutic spine injections, minimally invasive spine surgery including outpatient laminectomy/discectomies, as well as a full complement of reconstructive and trauma surgeries for the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.
Although proud of his accomplishments and credentials, Dr. Vessa takes personal responsibility for the well-being of his patients. He strives to return patients back to their pre-injury level of activity as soon as possible, with the utmost respect for the patients’ previous lifestyle. He continuously strives to improve upon the type and complexity of his spine surgery procedures he utilizes, and works closely with his staff to provide only the finest medical care.
New Jersey Spine Institute is a comprehensive orthopedic surgery center led by Drs. Dwyer and Vessa. They believe that the first step in successfully treating back pain with long-term relief is establishing a clear and accurate diagnosis and detailed treatment plan. They take the time to truly get to know the circumstances and lifestyles of their patients, in order to develop a comprehensive approach to treat conditions properly the first time.
Maintaining full privileges at Somerset Medical Center, Dr. Vessa also has consultant privileges at Hackettstown Community Hospital. He is the former Assistant Director of Spine Surgery at Jersey City Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.
Completing his Bachelor of Science degree at Lafayette College, Dr. Vessa earned his medical degree at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, with honors in medicine, surgery, pediatrics, critical care, and orthopedics. He then went on to complete his training in general surgery at New York University Bellevue Medical Center, and his residency in orthopedic surgery at UMDNJ Affiliated Hospitals. Finally, he completed a fellowship in spine surgery at St. Mary’s Spine Center, Seton Medical Center, Stanford University Hospital, and Kaiser Hospital Oakland, with additional training in lumbar interbody fusion and cervical spine reconstructive surgery at the Carolina Spine Institute.
As a testament to his continued education, he is board-certified in orthopedic surgery by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS). The ABOS is an organization with the goal of establishing educational and professional standards for orthopedic residents and surgeons as well as evaluating the qualifications and competence of orthopedic surgeons.
A Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Vessa is a member of the American Medical Association, the New Jersey Medical Society, the North American Spine Society, the New Jersey Spine Society, the International Spine Injection Society, and the American College of Spine Surgeons. He is also former President of Quality Assurance and Utilization of the Garden State Orthopedic Network.
Attributing his success to discipline, perseverance, and hard work, he has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, including a Poster Exhibit at the International Society of the Lumbar Spine in Chicago. He has also submitted papers for publications and has published a landmark paper on posterior lumbar interbody fusion for discogenic pain in the Spine Journal.
Orthopedic surgery is the branch of surgery concerned with conditions involving the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons use both surgical and non-surgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors, and congenital disorders.
One of Dr. Vessa’s most notable accomplishments includes performing the first outpatient open laminotomy discectomy in the state of New Jersey in 1995. He assisted Dr. Dwyer, as an orthopedic resident, in the first arthroscopic microdiscectomy in New Jersey, as well as the first laparoscopically assisted lumbar interbody fusion. Dr. Vessa was one of the first spine surgeons in New Jersey to utilize allograft threaded bone dowels for open lumbar interbody fusion.
In addition, he is a member of a select group of surgeons in the U.S. who were chosen to receive advanced training in artificial disc replacement. He assisted Dr. Dwyer in performing the 1st artificial disc replacement at the L4-L5 level in New Jersey.
Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Vessa has received various awards and honors, including the Patients’ Choice Award (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010), On-Time Doctor Award (2018, 2017, 2016, 2014), Compassionate Doctor Recognition (2015), and Patients’ Choice 5th Anniversary Award (2018, 2017).
Outside of the office, he enjoys cycling and golfing. His favorite place to vacation is Anguilla, and his favorite professional publications are The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and The Spine Journal.
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