Matt El-Kadi, MD, PhD

Clinical Professor of Neurological Surgery
Vice Chairman
Chief of Neurosurgery, UPMC Passavant





Matt El-Kadi, MD, PhD, FACS joined the Department of Neurological Surgery as a clinical assistant professor in September of 1999. He became clinical associate professor in January 2003 and clinical professor in June 2006. He became vice chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery in 2010 and has been chief of neurosurgery at UPMC Passavant since 2005. He is a member of the Tri-State Neurosurgical Associates.

Dr. El-Kadi board-certified in neurological surgery and has been selected as one of the best doctors in the region. Dr. El-Kadi specializes in the treatment of complex spine disorders, including spinal fusion and instrumentation, and minimally invasive spinal surgery for both the cervical and lumbar spine, with a special interest in the removal of primary and secondary spinal tumors. He has authored seven books and book chapters, and has over 100 publications in circulation. He is an active participant in professional societies.

Before joining UPMC, Dr. El-Kadi received training in complex spinal surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. He completed his neurosurgery residency training at West Virginia University and a one-year clinical fellowship in neurosurgery at Hartford Hospital, University of Connecticut. Dr. El-Kadi began his surgical career doing brain surgery. The minimally invasive and microscopic techniques used then on the brain have served him well as a spine surgeon for minimally invasive approaches and has been reflected in his patients’ shorter hospital stays and good outcome.

Dr. El-Kadi's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Administrative Office:

UPMC Passavant
9100 Babcock Boulevard
2 Main/Room 2096
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Community Clinic Sites:

3000 Stonewood Drive
Suite 300
Wexford, PA 15090

Wheeling Hospital
10 Medical Park
Professional Center I
Suite 305
Wheeling WV, 26003

Greenville Medical Center
Lower Level
90 Shenango Street
Greenville, PA 16125

UPMC Monroeville
Suite 210 
600 Oxford Drive
Monroeville, PA 15146

103 Technology Drive
Butler, PA  16001

1005 Campus Circle
Hermitage, PA 16148

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgeons

Hospital Privileges

Grove City Medical Center
Heritage Valley Sewickley
UPMC Mercy
UPMC Passavant
UPMC Presbyterian
The Washington Hospital

Professional Organization Membership

Allegheny County Medical Society 
American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine 
American Association of Neurological Surgeons 
American Medical Association 
Congress of Neurological Surgeons 
International Spinal Injections Society 
North American Spine Society 
Ohio County Medical Society 
Pennsylvania Medical Society 
Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society

Media Appearances

Coming Back from a Back Injury (pdf)
Spring 2011
UPMC Today Passavant

Orthopedic and Spine Industry Leader to Know: Dr. Matthew El-Kadi of UPMC Passavant
October 19, 2010
Becker's Orthopedic, Spine & Pain Management Review

The Evolution of Neurosurgery at UPMC Passavant
July 2010 
North Hills Monthly

Matt El-Kadi, MD, PhD: His Success in Neurosurgery and the Reason Behind It (pdf)
Fall 2009 
M.D. News (Greater Pittsburgh Edition)

Celebrating 25 Years of Bringing the Best in Neurosurgical Care to Our Community
February 2009
The Point North Magazine

Research Activities

Dr. El-Kadi has been working to closely examine factors that influence clinical outcome in lumbar fusion. He developed a database of over 1000 cases in order to assess co-morbidities that may be associated with poor outcome. Based on prior studies, he first examined obesity and body mass index in relation to patient outcome in lumbar fusion over a 12 month postoperative period. Overall, outcome at 1-2 months and 2-6 months postoperatively was not found to be different for obese patients. At the 6-12 month postoperative period, outcome was only slightly worse in this group. He then examined body mass index in relation to length of procedure and length of hospital stay. Patients with higher body mass index were found to have longer length of procedure. There were very slight differences in length of hospital stay, partly due to aggressive treatment of postoperative pain and early involvement of the social services to coordinate patient discharge and transfer to rehabilitation facilities when appropriate. These findings did not support some of the existing literature, which cite worse early outcome and higher length of hospital stay for obese patients. However, care and attention to discharge planning may be an important factor. Obesity was noted to be a risk for postoperative infection, as it was a common variable in 2/3 of patients that developed wound infection.

Looking at the same database, Dr. El-Kadi also was interested to examine factors associated with higher blood loss in lumbar fusion. Obesity and body mass index were associated with higher estimated blood loss in lumbar pedicle screw fixation. Patients who underwent revision surgery were more likely to have higher EBL. Male patients were found to have higher EBL. There was a slightly greater blood loss observed for patients who self-reported alcohol use. However, the combined effect of alcohol use in patients with obesity did show a greater blood loss. By evaluating factors associated with higher estimated blood loss, preoperative planning and patient counseling can be tailored to the individual considering lumbar fusion surgery.