DegreesM.D. of Medicine
Experience15+ years of experience
AboutDr. Alexander Hughes is a spinal surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Assistant Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical School. Dr. Hughes has a background in biomedical engineering and approaches each patient and symptom as unique challenges that require custom approaches. He specializes in degenerative, deformity, and trauma-related diseases of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral spine.
Dr. Hughes employs innovative, less invasive approaches to the spine whenever possible and indicated. He believes that one of the most critical factors in spine surgery is “getting it right the first time” for maximum benefit and outcomes. However, in cases of complex revision surgery, newer innovative techniques and approaches now allow for more effective treatment. Dr. Hughes’ eye for precision and detail oriented techniques has allowed him to perform several highly complex surgeries, giving patients another chance to live with a better quality of life.
Dr. Hughes studied biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University where he graduated summa cum laude and was inducted into the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. While there, he spent a year working on device development and research at the W.M. Keck Free Electron Laser Center exploring laser applications in orthopedic and spinal surgery. Dr. Hughes completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine and a spinal surgery fellowship at HSS Weill Cornell. Dr. Hughes has spent much time working with international thought leaders in spine surgery abroad and is an active collaborator in national and international education and research.
Dr. Hughes believes that being actively involved in research and critical thinking in spine surgery as well as working in a collaborative environment is the key to delivering the highest level of innovative care to each patient. Dr. Hughes founded the International Fellowship in Spine Research at HSS and is active in many areas of spine related research. Some areas of research focus include increasing the safety of anterior approaches to the cervical spine in complex cases, minimally invasive lateral approaches to the spine, connective tissue disease, and disc biology. He has been part of two different teams that have won annual “best research paper” awards in international peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Hughes regularly publishes and presents scientific papers in international peer reviewed journals and symposia. Dr. Hughes founded the Multi-disciplinary Educational Conference at HSS. This regular conference brings together specialists in diverse spine related backgrounds (e.g. neurology, rheumatology, medicine, physiatry, anesthesia, and pain management) to discuss challenging cases and arrive at the best possible care for the individual patient. Dr. Hughes has been appointed the Educational Director of the Spine Service at HSS.