J. Alex Thomas


Dr. Thomas received his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry at Duke University in 1999 (while earning 4 varsity letters for swimming) and his Doctor of Medicine from Georgetown University in 2004. He completed his neurosurgical residency at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. During that residency he completed an in-folded fellowship in minimally invasive and lateral access spinal surgery. Dr. Thomas has been a pioneer in the field Lateral Single Position Surgery in which spinal fusion is performed on the front and back of the spine with the patient remaining in the lateral position. This ground-breaking technique dramatically reduces the time that a patient spends under anesthesia and thus leads to decreased risks and better outcomes.


  • Minimally invasive procedures of cervical and lumbar spine including discectomy, laminectomy and fusions
  • Lateral access and single position surgical techniques for spinal fusion (XLIF, Lateral ALIF
  • Spinal deformity surgery
  • Cervical disc replacement
  • Spinal tumors and trauma
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Brain tumors
  • Mazor robotics


  • American Academy of Neurological Surgeons
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • Society of Lateral Access Surgery
  • North American Spine Society
  • North Carolina Medical Society


  • Single Position Circumferential Lumbar Fusion-Anterior and Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Posterior Fixation from the Lateral Decubitus Position. Buckland AJ, Ashayeri K, Leon C, Manning J, Eisen L, Medley M, Protopsaltis TS, Thomas JA.  Under review for publication to Spine, 2020.
  • Blizzard, DJ, & Thomas, JA (2018). MIS Single-position Lateral and Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion and Bilateral Pedicle Screw Fixation. Spine43(6), 440–446.
  • Benjamin, CG, Oermann, EK, Thomas, JA, Distaso, CT, Sandhu, FA: Minimally Invasive Direct Lateral Transpsoas Approach for the Resection of a Lumbar Plexus Schwannoma: Technique Report. The Surgery Journal 2(3): e66-e69. 2016.
  • Graham A, Davis JE, Gouvernayre AJ, Thomas, JA: An unusual cause of neck pain: acquired Chiari Malformation leading to brainstem herniation and death. The Journal of Emergency Medicine 43(6): 1000-1003, 2012.
  • Pritchard CD, O'Shea TM, Siegwart DJ, Calo E, Anderson DG, Reynolds FM, Thomas JA, Slotkin JR, Woodard EJ, Langer R: An injectable thiol-acrylate poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogel for sustained release of methylprednisolone sodium succinate. Biomaterials 32(2):587-97, Jan 2011.
  • Thomas JA, Tredway T, Fessler RG, Sandhu FA: An alternate method for placement of C1 screws: technical report and case series. J Neurosurg Spine, 12(4):337-341 2010
  • Thomas JA, Myseros JS, Bank WO: Glossopharyngeal schwannoma in childhood: case report and treatment strategy. J Neurosurg Pediatrics 2: 130-132, 2008.
  • Thomas JA, Watson VW, McGrail KM: Surgical management of a paraclinoid aneurysm containing a misplaced Neuroform microstent: technical case report. Neurosurgery 63:817, 2008.


  • NHRMC’s Chair of Neuroscience Department
  • North American Spine Society Secretary 2019-2020


  • Society of Lateral Access Surgery – 2016-2020
  • North Carolina Spine Society – 2016
  • Society for Minimally-invasive Spine Surgery – 2015, 2016
  • Annual Trauma and Emergency Symposium – 2014
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons – 2008
  • American Academy of Neurological Surgeons – 2007, 2008

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