Northeast Ohio’s Leading Experts in Neurotrauma Care

TestMetroHealth’s Neurotrauma surgeons are the region’s leading experts in all matters of brain and spine trauma caused by a sudden injury. 

Neurotrauma includes:

  • concussions
  • traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • skull fractures
  • spinal column fractures
  • spinal cord injuries (SCI)

Our Neurotrauma section within the department of Neurological Surgery works together with our specialists in MetroHealth’s Level I Adult Trauma Center, the first Level I trauma center for adults in Northeast Ohio, to provide the highest-skilled care after a critical brain or spine injury, from surgery or intensive care treatment through rehabilitation and recovery.

We also work with MetroHealth’s Comprehensive Stroke Center to care for patients who need interventions or surgery related to traumatic cerebrovascular accidents.

Our team includes neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, critical care neurologists, physiatrists for rehabilitation, nurses, social workers and physical therapists specially trained to treat brain and spine trauma. 

All our physicians are faculty members at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine.

Schedule an appointment today with a MetroHealth neurotrauma surgeon.

Call 216-778-8822.

We treat the following conditions: 

Head trauma, including:

  • Acute subdural hematoma
  • Blunt cerebrovascular injury
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leaks
  • Concussion
  • Craniofacial trauma
  • Depressed skull fracture
  • Epidural hematoma
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Mild TBI (traumatic brain injury)
  • Moderate TBI (traumatic brain injury)
  • Penetrating brain injury (such as gunshot, stab wound)
  • Severe TBI (traumatic brain injury)
  • Seizures
  • Subacute and chronic subdural hematoma
  • Traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage/brain contusion
  • Traumatic intraventricular hemorrhage
  • Traumatic pseudoaneurysm
  • Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage

Spine trauma, including:

  • Atlanto-occipital dissociation
  • Burst fracture
  • Compression fracture
  • Craniocervical spine injury
  • Distraction injury
  • Fracture-dislocation
  • Hangman’s (C2) fracture
  • Hyperextension injury
  • Hyperflexion injury
  • Jefferson (C1) fracture
  • Lumbosacral spine injury
  • Odontoid (dens) fracture
  • Penetrating spine injury (such as gunshot, stab wound)
  • Perched/jumped facets
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal ligamentous injury
  • Thoracic spine injury
  • Traumatic central cord syndrome
  • Traumatic intervertebral disc herniation
  • Traumatic pars defect (spondylolysis)
  • Traumatic spondylolisthesis


Partnerships in Trauma Care

MetroHealth joined the Northern Ohio Trauma System (NOTS) in 2010. This is a collaboration with Cleveland Clinic and other area hospitals to provide care to patients with traumatic injuries across Northeast Ohio through efficient transfer of patients to MetroHealth  for definitive treatment.

It ensures each patient gets appropriate care as quickly as possible.

This partnership saves lives. Since 2010, trauma deaths in Cuyahoga County dropped 39 percent. In the city of Cleveland, trauma deaths are down 53 percent.

MetroHealth’s Neurotrauma program also accepts patients from across Northeast Ohio via Cleveland Metro Life Flight, the first air medical program in the area.


Traumatic Brain Injury Program

MetroHealth’s Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program is the most comprehensive of its kind in Northeast Ohio. By intervening quickly after injury and providing care especially for patients who have suffered TBI, we are able to improve quality of life and long-term outcomes for our patients. 

We offer:

As a result of our comprehensive care, the number of deaths from TBI have decreased across Northeast Ohio and more patients go on to specialized rehabilitation programs for TBI patients instead of Long-Term Care or Skilled Nursing Facilities.


Spinal Cord Injury Program

MetroHealth is just one of 14 centers in the country currently designated by the federal government as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System and tasked with performing collaborative treatment and research for patients with spinal cord injury. We offer care for the most severe spinal cord injuries, including:

  • Advanced complex spine surgery
  • Trauma Intensive Care Unit
  • Neuromonitoring
  • Neuro-specific nursing staff
  • Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

MetroHealth is also part of the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center.

We help people with spinal cord injury, stroke and other neuromuscular impairments regain movement and function they have lost. For spinal cord injury, we help patient move their arms or legs, control organs like their bowel or bladder, and exercise muscles for greater strength and improved circulation. FES devices can be implanted to permanently replace lost functions.



Patients from across Northeast Ohio come to MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute to restore function and quality of life following a neurotrauma injury.

As one of our nation’s first hospitals dedicated solely to rehabilitation, we treat the most complex rehabilitation patients in the region.  In partnership with Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, we are in the forefront of innovation and discovery that attracts research participants, clinicians and scientists from across the nation and internationally.



MetroHealth is at the forefront of Neurotrauma-related research. Our specialists contribute to national data collections to help advance brain and spine care for patients across the world.

MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute: MetroHealth Rehabilitation Institute delivers outstanding rehabilitation care for brain and spinal cord injuries, trains the next generation of rehabilitation clinicians and scientists, and discovers new knowledge that becomes part of our standard of care. 

Neurotrauma Systems Outcome Data Collection: MetroHealth Neurosurgeon Michael L. Kelly, MD, in conjunction with the Division of Trauma Surgery at MetroHealth, has created a database to track long-term outcomes for patients with Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury. The goal of the database is to better understand and improve patients’ function and pain levels after treatment and rehabilitation. 

SCIMS Spine Registry: MetroHealth physicians contribute to a national database for spinal cord injury that tracks treatments and outcomes for patients with spinal cord injury. The database allows researchers to measure treatment effectiveness, identify best practices, and close gaps in medical evidence for spinal cord injury.


Recent Publications

Kashkoush AWhiting BDesai APetitt JEl-Abtah MEMcmillan AFinocchioro AHu SKelly ML. Clinical Outcomes Following Non-operative Management of Large Acute Subdural Hematomas: A Propensity-Scored Retrospective Analysis. Neurosurgery. 2022. (Accepted, in press).

Kashkoush APetitt JPotts T, Hu S, Hunter S, Kelly ML. Novel application of the Rotterdam CT score in the Prediction of Intracranial Hypertension Following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Neurosurgery. 2022. (Accepted, in press).

Pettit JKashkoush AStanley SKelly ML. Failure of Conservatively Managed Traumatic Vertebral Compression Fractures: A Systematic Review. World Neurosurgery. 2022. Jun 17;165:81-88.

DeMario BStanley STruong E, Brown L, Ho V, Kelly ML. Predictors for Withdrawal of Life Sustaining Therapies in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients: A Retrospective Trauma Quality Improvement Program Database Study. Neurosurgery. 2022. Aug 1;91(2):e45-e50.

Stanley STruong EDeMario B, Ho V, Kelly ML. Variations in Discharge Destination Following Severe TBI across the United States. Journal of Surgical Research. 2022. Mar;271:98-105.

Kashkoush APetitt J, Ho V, Ladhani H, Kelly ML. Predictors of Mortality, Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Measures, and Discharge Disposition in Octogenarians with Subdural Hematomas. World Neurosurgery. 2022. Jan;157:e179-e187.

Shammassian BH, Ronald A, Smith A, Sajatovic M, Mangat H, Kelly ML. Viscoelastic Hemostatic Assays and Outcomes in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Literature Review. World Neurosurgery. 2021. Nov 25;S1878-8750(21)01691-0.

Truong EStanley SPDeMario BS, Tseng ES, Como JJ, Ho VP, Kelly ML. Variation in Neurosurgical Intervention for Severe TBI: The Challenge of Measuring Quality in Trauma Center Verification. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2021. Jul 1; 91(1):114-120.

Shammassian BWooster LWright JMKelly ML. Systematic review of trauma system regionalization on outcomes in patients with Traumatic Brain Injury. Neurological Research. 2021. Feb;43(2):87-96.

Volovetz J, Roach MJ, Kelly ML. Admission Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is associated with improved AIS Motor Score after Spinal Cord Injury. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. 2020. 26(4): 261-267.

Chen Y, Wen H, Griffin R, Roach MJ, Kelly ML. Linking individual data from the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems center and local trauma registry: Development and validation of probabilistic matching algorithm. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. 2020. 26(4): 221-231.

Habboub GGrabowski MKelly ML, Benzel EC. The Embedded Biases in Hypothesis Testing and Machine Learning. Neurosurgical Focus. 2020. May 1;48(5): E8.

Soni P, Rosenbaum BP, Kelly ML. Regional and institutional practice variations in decompressive spine surgery for patients with penetrating spinal injury in the United States. World Neurosurgery. 2020. May; 137:e263-e268.

Hendriks S, Grady C, Ramos KM, Chiong W, Fins JJ, Ford P, Goering S, Greely HT, Hutchison K, Kelly ML, Kim SH, Klein E, Lisanby SH, Mayberg H, Maslen H, Miller FG, Rommelfanger K, Sheth SA, Wexler A. Ethical challenges of risk, informed consent, and post-trial responsibilities in human research with neural devices: a review. JAMA Neurology. 2019.76(12):1506-1514.

Kelly MLHe J, Roach MJ, Moore TA, Steinmetz MP, Claridge JA.  Regionalization of Spine Trauma Care in an Urban Trauma System in the United States: Decreased Time to Surgery and Hospital Length of Stay. Neurosurgery. 2019. Dec 1;85(6):773-778.

Kelly ML, Roach MJ, Nemunaitis G, Yuying C. Surgical and Non-surgical Treatment of Penetrating Spinal Cord Injury: An Analysis of Long-term Neurological and Functional Outcomes. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. 2019. Spring;25(2):186-193.

Kelly MLShammassian B, Roach MJ, Thomas C, Wagner AK. Craniectomy and Craniotomy in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Propensity-Matched Analysis of Long-Term Functional and Quality of Life Outcomes. World Neurosurgery. 2018. Oct; 118:e974-e981.

Posillico SE, Golob JF, Rinker AD, Kreiner LA, West RS, Conrad-Schnetz KJ, Kelly ML, Claridge JA. Bedside Dysphagia Screens in Patients with Traumatic Cervical Injuries: An Ideal Tool for an Under-Recognized Problem. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2018. Oct;85(4):697-703.

Roach MJ, Yuying C, Kelly ML. Comparing Blunt and Penetrating Trauma in Spinal Cord Injury: Analysis of Long-Term Functional and Neurological Outcomes. Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. 2018; 24(2):121-132.

McCunniff PRamey SScott M, Roach MJ, Vallier M, Moore T, Kelly ML. Operative versus non-operative management of civilian gunshot wounds to the spinal cord: novel use of the functional independence measure for validated outcomes. World Neurosurgery. 2017 Oct;106:240-246.

Rosenbaum BP, Kshettry VR, Kelly ML, Mroz TE, Weil RJ. Trends in Inpatient Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty Volume in the United States, 2005-2011: Assessing the Impact of Randomized Controlled Trials. Clin Spine Surg. 2017 Apr;30(3): E276-E282.

Kelly ML, MJ Roach, A Banerjee, M Steinmetz, JA Claridge. Functional and Long-term Outcomes in Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Following Regionalization of an Urban Trauma System. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2015 Sep;79(3):372-7

Vadera S, Griffith SD, Rosenbaum BP, Seicean A, Kshettry VR, Kelly ML, Weil RJ, Bingaman W, Jehi L. National Incidence of Medication Error in Surgical Patients Before and After ACGME Duty Hour Reform. Journal of Surgical Education. 2015 Jun 15;72(6):1209-16.

Vadera S, Griffith SD, Rosenbaum BP, Chan A, Thompson N, Kshettry VR, Kelly ML, Weil RJ, Bingaman W, Jehi L. National Trends and In-Hospital Complication Rates in Over 1600 Hemispherectomies from 1988 to 2010: A Nationwide Inpatient Sample Study. Neurosurgery. 2015 Aug;77(2):185-91.

Kelly ML, Banerjee A, Nowak M, Steinmetz M, Claridge J. Decreased Mortality in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Following Regionalization of an Urban Trauma System. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. 2015 April; 78(4):715-20.



Michael L. Kelly, MDMichael L. Kelly, MD is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and MetroHealth Medical Center.

He completed his neurosurgery training at the Cleveland Clinic and underwent additional fellowship training in health policy and trauma outcomes research at both the University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University.

His clinical practice focuses on the care of patients with:

  • brain and spine injuries
  • degenerative spine disease
  • brain and spine tumors
  • general neurosurgery needs


MetroHealth and CWRU School of Medicine Affiliation

MetroHealth and Case Western Reserve University Logos presented next to each otherAs a major teaching hospital in Northern Ohio, MetroHealth has maintained a tradition of excellence in academics and research. Intensive training for physicians and medical professionals is offered in neurological surgical specialties.

MetroHealth's Department of Neurological Surgery provides Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine students with the chance to learn and practice in multiple clinical settings.  The curriculum offered in the Neurological Surgery program is viewed as an extension of the CWRU's academic and research expertise.



Second Opinions

Receiving the diagnosis of a serious neurological condition can be overwhelming and leave you with more questions than answers, especially when a major surgery or procedure is involved.  

If you are interested in receiving a second opinion about your diagnosis, The MetroHealth Department of Neurological Surgery offers patients the ability to see one of our specialists and help you determine the right next step for you. 

Call 216-778-8822 to schedule your second opinion today.


Our Doctors/Medical Providers

Our neurotrauma team includes neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, critical care neurologists, physiatrists for rehabilitation, nurses, social workers and physical therapists specially trained to treat brain and spine trauma. 

All neurotrauma procedures are performed at the MetroHealth Main Campus location.

Meet our neurotrauma surgeons