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Stand-up Physician Founds St. Charles Spine Institute

Anyone who has ever experienced significant neck or back pain knows the importance of finding a skilled doctor they can trust to diagnose and treat spinal conditions. At St. Charles Spine Institute in Thousand Oaks, Board-certified Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon Dr. Erik Spayde and his expert team of caring medical professionals treat a wide variety of spinal conditions in patients of all ages.

“We offer the most advanced, cutting-edge technology in the area, utilizing state-of-the-art imaging, minimally invasive surgery and advanced spinal reconstruction,” says Dr. Spayde, who founded the St. Charles Spine Institute in 2015 to provide comprehensive spinal care. In addition to a variety of minimally invasive surgical procedures and nonsurgical treatment options for spine-related pain and conditions, the St. Charles Spine Institute offers a full range of spinal care services, including diagnostic procedures, an MRI and nerve center, stem cell therapy, epidurals, Kyphoplasty and outpatient treatment.

The many options offered at St. Charles Spine Institute draw patients seeking help for their neck and back disorders from throughout the West Coast. Dedicated to educating patients about spinal conditions and their myriad treatment options, Drs. Spayde and Eric Lee, along with their experienced, knowledgeable staff, ensure each patient understands their unique spinal condition and the various nonsurgical and surgical solutions available to them.

“Because of the breadth of our practice, we’re able to offer such a wide variety of options that not all doctors can offer. Patients know they’re getting good treatment,” says Dr. Spayde, a Thousand Oaks native who returned to his hometown after attending Stanford and then Harvard Medical School to open his practice. Here, Dr. Spayde shares more about the St. Charles Spine Institute.

Q. How did you get started in this field?

A. After graduating from Thousand Oaks High School and attending Stanford and running track, I decided on Pre-Med. I attended Harvard Medical School and discovered I liked surgery. I spent 10 years on the East Coast—four years of med school, one year of research at Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute, and five years at an orthopedic residency at Harvard; I worked at Mass General Hospital in Boston, where people flew in from around the world to be treated.

Specializing in spine surgery, I worked with sports doctors, serving as team doctor for the Patriots, Bruins and Red Sox. Post-residency, I did a fellowship with foremost L.A. Spine Surgeon Rick Della Marta, receiving training in complex spinal-reconstruction surgery at The Spine Institute at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.

Q. What can you tell us about St. Charles Spine Institute?

A. Our state-of-the art, full-service facility is staffed with caring professionals ready to apply the most advanced medical and surgical technologies to help our patients regain function and live more active and fulfilling lives. We are the leaders in patient-friendly and exceptional spinal surgery outcomes in Ventura County. Above all, we are here to meet the needs of our patients and get them back to health and back to living. Services include minimally invasive surgeries, disc replacement, kyphoplasty, XLIF®, epidural injections, set blocks, rhizotomies, spinal cord stimulators, stem cell therapy and cutting-edge treatment protocols. We also try to avoid opiates in our practice.

Q. Can you tell us about the doctors’ expertise?

A. I am a fellowship-trained spine surgeon with more than 10 years of experience in treating disc herniations, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, kyphosis, scoliosis and spine fractures. My expertise with multiple complex spinal disorders and breadth of training allows me to choose the proper treatment modality for patients. My primary research interest is in artificial disc replacement and I have specialty training in cervical and lumbar disc replacement. I’ve also presented at national and international spine meetings and have published numerous scientific articles. I am active in education, research and innovation, having designed numerous surgical implants and novel technologies to better treat patients.

Dr. Eric Lee, MD, MA, graduated from Yale University and completed his medical school training at Boston University. He completed his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at New York University Langone Medical Center at the prestigious Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and his pain medicine fellowship at New York University. Double Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine, he has experience with patients who have numerous sports injuries and understands the importance of returning his patients to maximum functional capacity. He is involved in cutting-edge research, new techniques to improve pain treatment and several clinical trials. He has helped advance the field of regenerative therapies, such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), stem cell treatments, radiofrequency ablation and neuromodulation.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your practice?

A. The variety of treatments that we can provide for the patients. Seeing the breadth of various problems—children with stress fractures, scoliosis, all the way up to middle-age folks with herniated discs, to elderly who have a fracture—that we can help people with. One patient in their 80s had a fracture we treated and he went out to dinner that same night! I also really enjoy getting to work with several celebrity athletes and people from all walks of life.

Q. How does St. Charles Spine Institute stand apart?

A. We are a lot more patient-focused, offering a larger breadth of treatment options within one facility. We specialize in restorative medicine and minimally invasive procedures, and we are a study site for a host of different companies exploring new procedures, techniques and technologies. In addition, we take on a lot of failed back surgeries.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Spayde, contact the St. Charles Spine Institute at 805.379.2322 or learn more at

St. Charles Spine Institute is located at 558 St. Charles Drive, Suite 200, in Thousand Oaks.

  • Dr. Eric Lee, MD, MA
  • Dr. Erik C. Spayde, MD