Adam S. Kanter, MD

Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery
Chief, UPMC Presbyterian Spine Service
Director, Minimally Invasive Spine Program
Director, Spine Fellowship Program

Adam Kanter




Adam S. Kanter, MD, joined the faculty of the Department of Neurosurgery in January of 2008 as director of the department’s minimally invasive spine program.

Dr. Kanter performed his undergraduate work at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, graduating with Cum Laude honors. He obtained his masters degree from Boston University and his medical degree from the University of Vermont in 2001. Dr. Kanter then completed his neurosurgical residency at the University of Virginia in 2007. He completed subspecialty fellowship training in minimally invasive spine surgery at the University of California in San Francisco and Auckland City Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand.

Dr. Kanter is board certified in neurological surgery and was promoted to associate professor in 2013. He was named chief of spine services in 2014 and continues to push the surgical envelope in minimally invasive spine procedures utilizing many of the innovative portals that he has helped to develop.

Dr. Kanter is principal investigator in several research studies evaluating the use of stem cell derived biologics to induce spinal fusion. His research focuses on patient derived clinical outcome measures, specifically appraising the utility of minimally invasive versus open surgical corridors.

Dr. Kanter has published numerous papers in refereed journals and authored several book chapters. Dr. Kanter provides editorial service to several peer reviewed journals and is a member of the societies of minimally invasive spine surgery and lateral access surgery.

His publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database. He provides editorial service to several peer reviewed journals and is a member of the societies of minimally invasive spine surgery and lateral access surgery.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Minimally invasive spine surgery; endosurgical complex spine surgery; artificial disc technology; spinal tumors; experimental therapies for spinal fusion.

Community Clinic Sites:

UPMC Passavant Spine Center
12680 Perry Highway
2nd Floor
Wexford, PA 15090

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgery

Hospital Privileges:

Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
UMPC Passavant
UPMC Presbyterian
UPMC St. Margaret
UPMC Shadyside

Professional Organization Membership:

AANS/CNS Joint Section on Spine & Peripheral Nerves
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Society of Lateral Access Surgeons
Society of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons

Honors and Awards

  • Best Doctors in America, 2009-15
  • Pittsburgh Best Doctors, 2012-15
  • Brazilian Spine Congress 2012 Honored Guest
  • Most Compassionate Doctor Award, December 2012
  • Patients’ Choice Award, October 2012-2015
  • Fellowships Committee Chair, AANS/CNS Spine Section, March 2014-15
  • Research & Awards Committee Chair, 2011-13
  • Top 10 Doctor, Vitals Neurosurgical Specialists, 2012-2015
  • Vitals On-Time Recognition Award, 2015

Media Appearances

Less invasive spinal surgery pioneered by UPMC neurosurgeon helps patients recover quicker
July 23, 2012
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

XLIF Procedure for Scoliosis Surgery
July 9, 2012
Discovery Channel

Pounded spinal cord can mimic more serious injury
October 4, 2010
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

UPMC OnTopic Videos

Clinical Advantages of Lateral Access Surgery
Dr. Kanter explains how lateral access surgery is a viable and beneficial option that preserves tissue integral to the rehabilitation and recovery of patients with degenerative spine conditions.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery for Scoliosis
Dr. Kanter explains how scoliosis can be treated minimally invasively.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery for Stenosis
Dr. Kanter explains how stenosis can be treated minimally invasively.

Minimally Invasive Spine Fusion Surgery
Dr. Kanter discusses the benefits of minimally invasive spine fusion surgery.