Spine surgeon Dr. Robert L. Masson, M.D., is an internationally recognized neurosurgeon specializing in complex spinal disorders and sports spine medicine. As the founder of the Masson Spine Institute, he serves as Director of the Orlando Health Central Hospital JCAHO accredited Spine Center of Excellence, where patients and surgeons travel from all over the world for advanced micro-surgical spine surgery strategies, solutions, techniques and training.
Dr. Masson, himself a spinal reconstruction patient and lifelong adventurer, is a passionate advocate for prevention, wellness, fitness and ultimately extreme recovery in the face of spinal injury. He is committed to using the a comprehensive multi-modality approach to help his patients achieve return to spine health following their spinal treatment. His goal is to relentlessly strive for optimization strategies to improve patient outcome and functionality, even in the face of previously disabling spinal conditions.
Dr. Masson has performed over 13,000 microsurgical spine procedures in his career and several thousand microsurgical minimally invasive lumbar spinal reconstructions and revisions. He is amongst the most experienced artificial cervical spine surgeons in North America having over 2000 patients treated with cervical arthroplasty. His practice is dedicated to complex spinal disorders and 100% of his practice uses microsurgical and minimally invasive techniques.
Dr. Masson received his medical degree with honors from the University of Florida and was a privileged participant in the Junior Honors Medical Program, a prestigious innovation and research enriched 7 year BS/MD educational program. 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 modern microneurosurgery.
After starting his practice in 1995, he began applying brain microsurgery techniques to spinal surgery total commitment to less traumatic spine surgery solutions. The ultimate 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 technology and ultimately, the iMAS surgical symphony which he invented.
Dr. Masson’s iMAS technique—which is short for ‘intervertebral microsurgical access surgery”—is used in lumbosacral spinal reconstruction and he has been responsible for the education, product development, and research for iMAS Technology products and techniques. He has served as one of several Chairmen, globally, of surgeon training and certification for in the use of the artificial disc, Prodisc.
He has trained several hundred surgeons in minimally invasive spine surgery, microsurgical low back and neck reconstruction and artificial cervical disc surgery and is credited with having the least invasive spine reconstruction technique in the world.
His practice is world renowned for its functionally restoring treatment goals in the face of spinal disorders. Dr. Masson has treated countless amateur, recreational, professional athletes, and Olympians representing players from the NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA/LPGA tours, US Soccer, UFC, US Boxing, U.S. Ski team, US Cycling and Wakeboarding teams, and is an expert consultant at Spine Health as it relates to Sports, Performance and fitness industry at large. Dr. Masson is himself a lifelong athlete and in 2019 was on the podium in second place at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the Le Mans Prototype class and will be competing in the 2020 Rolex 24 and 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance races.
He has given keynote addresses for many spine industry meetings and Spine surgery societies on the modern approach to spine health disorders, technology and innovation. He serves as Medical Director for the Growing Bolder Media Organization having contributed to the Growing Bolder television show, magazine and is the partnered creator of Spine Health and MSI.
Asked about his experience with the program, Dr. Masson reflects: “I was privileged to be accepted to the Junior Honors Medical Program in the spring of 1983. The transitional year, my junior year, was the most stimulating year of my education, and prepared me to do more than just ‘practice’ medicine. It gave me perspective on medical science, research and politics and enabled me to pursue a surgical practice where I am active in development, research and product development. I have always felt blessed and enabled because of the Junior Honors years and will forever be grateful for the learning process that it uniquely provided me.”