Founder & Neurosurgeon of NeuroSpine Institute
Robert L. Masson, M.D., is an internationally recognized neurosurgeon specializing in spinal injury and sports spine medicine. As the founder of the NeuroSpine Institute, he has built it up as a recognized global referral center for complex, minimally invasive spine decompression and reconstruction. He is an international consultant for minimally invasive neurosurgery, stem cell use in spinal injury, and one of the world’s leading advocates for changing perceptions that an athletic spinal injury can be recognized as a recoverable sports injury.
Dr. Masson has performed over 10,000 microsurgical spine procedures in his career and over 3,500 minimally invasive spinal reconstructions and revisions. 100% of his practice is devoted to minimally invasive microsurgical spine surgery.
Throughout his life, Dr. Masson has always been an avid athlete having played multiple sports during his formative years and into adulthood. He played football at the University of Florida and is a retired Lieutenant Commander of the United States Naval Reserve. This athletic lifestyle caused him to suffer five major concussions and as a result, Dr. Masson became passionate about concussion education, recognition, and treatment.
Dr. Masson received his medical degree with honors from the University of Florida. He stayed in Gainesville for Neurological Surgery Residency, finishing in 1995 with special training in Microneurosurgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. He credits his training and inspiration in Microsurgery to Dr. Albert Rhoton, the ‘father’ of microneurosurgical anatomy. Dr. Richard Fessler, his mentor in spine surgery, inspired him to blend his skills in microneurosurgery and his passion for sports into a field of Sports Spine Surgery.
After starting his practice, begin applying brain microsurgery techniques to spinal surgery with great success. The product was the creation of a unique symphony of surgical techniques the world of minimally invasive spine surgery had not yet seen. The advances he made enabled the creation of spinal implants, retractors, templates, delivery devices, techniques, and ultimately, the iMAS surgical technique which he invented.
Dr. Masson’s iMAS technique—which is short for ‘interpedicular minimal access surgery’—is used on the lumbar spine, and is responsible for the education, product development, and research for Depuy Synthes Spine products and techniques. He is one of several Chairmen, globally, of surgeon training and certification for Depuy Synthes Spine in the use of the artificial disc, Prodisc. He has trained hundreds of surgeons in minimally invasive spine surgery and artificial disc surgery.
His practice treats a variety of amateur, recreational, and professional athletes, representing players from the NFL, NBA, PGA/LPGA tours, U.S. Ski team, and others, and is an expert consultant at Spine Health as it relates to Golf and Skiing. He was featured on the television program, Discovery Health, as an expert in neurological surgery.