Lee Hunter Riley III, M.D.

Headshot of Lee Hunter Riley III
  • Chief Medical Officer, Musculoskeletal Service Line
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery


Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease, Cervical Degenerative Disc Herniation, Cervical Spondylosis, Degenerative Spine Disease, Lumbar Degenerative Disease, Lumbar Disc Herniation, Lumbar Spine Diseases, Orthopaedic Surgery, Spine, Spine and Spinal Deformities, Spine Surgery, Spine Tumors, Spondylolisthesis ...read more

Research Interests

Cervical spine disorder; Vertebroplasty; Metastatic disease; Disc degeneration ...read more

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Main Phone

Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

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Johns Hopkins Medicine - Green Spring Station

Appointment Phone: 443-997-6754
10803 Falls Road
Pavilion III, Suite 2100
Lutherville, MD 21093 map

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center)

Appointment Phone: 443-997-2663
601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287 map


Dr. Lee Hunter Riley III is a professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurological surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He serves as vice director of clinical operations in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He specializes in surgical treatments for spinal disorders and injuries.

Dr. Riley received his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1986. Following a residency in orthopaedic surgery and a fellowship in spinal surgery at Johns Hopkins, he completed a second fellowship in spinal surgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1993.

In addition to clinical interests in the cervical spine and adult spinal disorders, his research interests include disc degeneration, metastatic disease, vertebroplasty and cervical spine disorder.

Dr. Riley has authored or co-authored over 100 scholarly publications.

...read more


  • Chief Medical Officer, Musculoskeletal Service Line
  • Vice Director, Clinical Operations
  • Zadek Family Professorship in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Professor of Neurosurgery

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1986)


  • Orthopaedic Surgery; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (1991)


  • Spinal Surgery; University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (1993)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (Orthopedic Surgery) (1995)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Purvis TE, Neuman BJ, Riley LH 3rd, Skolasky RL. Can Early Patient-Reported Outcomes be Used to Identify Patients at Risk for Poor 1-Year Health Outcomes After Lumbar Laminectomy with Arthrodesis? Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Dec 5. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002522. PMID: 29215506

Purvis TE, Andreou E, Neuman BJ, Riley LH 3rd, Skolasky RL. Concurrent Validity and Responsiveness of PROMIS Health Domains Among Patients Presenting for Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Dec 1;42(23):E1357-E1365. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002347. PMID: 28742757

Bian Q, Jain A, Xu X, Kebaish K, Crane JL, Zhang Z, Wan M, Ma L, Riley LH, Sponseller PD, Guo XE, Lu WW, Wang Y, Cao X. Excessive Activation of TGFβ by Spinal Instability Causes Vertebral Endplate Sclerosis. Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 3;6:27093. doi: 10.1038/srep27093. PMID: 27256073 

Wang KY, Idowu O, Thompson CB, Orman G, Myers C, Riley LH 3rd, Carrino JA, Flammang A, Gilson W, Sadowsky CL, Izbudak I. Tract-Specific Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy Before and After Decompressive Spinal Surgery: Preliminary Results. Clin Neuroradiol. 2017 Mar;27(1):61-69. doi: 10.1007/s00062-015-0418-7. Epub 2015 Jun 24. PMID: 26104273

Skolasky RL, Maggard AM, Li D, Riley LH 3rd, Wegener ST. Health behavior change counseling in surgery for degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. Part I: improvement in rehabilitation engagement and functional outcomes. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Jul;96(7):1200-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2015.03.009. Epub 2015 Mar 28. PMID: 25827657

Videos & Media

  • Play Video:

    Spinal Fusion | George and Scott's Story

  • Play Video:

    Degenerative Spine | Q&A with Dr. Lee Riley

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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