Spine Animations

Spine Animations

Tip of the Week

Poor posture can damage the spine and its associated muscles and ligaments. A hunched stance places abnormal stress on muscles and ligaments, causes backache and fatigue, and can even cause the spine to become fixed in an abnormal position.

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Donald R. Johnson II, M.D.

Donald R. Johnson II, M.D.

Dr. Johnson’s vision and hard work resulted in the founding of the Southeastern Spine Institute in Mount Pleasant, SC. He labored for more than 20 years to bring all the required tools and qualified staff together in one location to diagnose and treat spinal injuries and illnesses. SSI’s comprehensive South Carolina spine center now offers MRI, digital X-ray, EMG, fluoroscopy, physical therapy, nerve testing, spine blocks, nerve conduction studies, laser surgery and minimally invasive outpatient surgery.

Today, the surgeons, physicians and physician assistants at SSI number 18, and each one is dedicated to preserving and expanding Dr. Johnson’s vision. Southeastern Spine uses the latest technology, including Minimal Access Spinal Technologies (MAST), to relieve spinal pain.

Education and Background

Dr. Johnson graduated with honors from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston. He interned at Spartanburg General Hospital in Spartanburg, SC, and returned to MUSC in Charleston for his residency, where he was selected Chief Resident in Orthopedic Surgery.

While at MUSC, he won the William K. Nelson Academic Excellence Award and was named the Outstanding Resident of the Year from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Following his time at MUSC, he completed three Spine Surgery fellowships in 18 months: at the South Texas Spinal Clinic in San Antonio, St. Mary’s Spine Center in San Francisco, CA, and the Spine Surgery University of Hong Kong.

Dr. Johnson was appointed Associated Clinical Instructor in Spine Surgery by the University of Hong Kong and Clinical Instructor for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at MUSC, Charleston. He has been involved in six research/study projects including one under Dr. Edwin Ades, the current Director of Human Immunology at Eli Lily Inc. He continues to study Immunology of Degenerative Disc Disease of the Spine with Janardin Pandey, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Immunology and Microbiology at MUSC.

Board Certification and Associations

August 15, 2014: Elected Chairman of Medical University of South Carolina Board for a 4 year term

Dr. Johnson has been board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery since 1993 and by the American Board of Spine Surgery since 2004.

He has the respect of his peers nationwide. His list of appointments reads like a What’s What of spinal medicine:

  • MUSC (clinical instructor, board of trustees, chairman of the board)
  • University of South Carolina at Columbia (clinical instructor)
  • Department of Rehabilitative Services, Bon-Secours-St. Francis Xavier Hospital (former medical director)
  • Charleston County Medical Society (medical-legal liaison committee)
  • National Association of Spine Centers (board of directors)
  • South Carolina Orthopedic Association (president)
  • South Carolina Orthopedic Political Action Committee (president)
  • South Carolina Spine Society (president)
  • Southern Medical Association (South Carolina state councilor)
  • Journal of Southern Orthopedic Association, Spine Section (editorial board)
  • Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances (editorial board)

In addition to the numerous classes and clinics he led, Dr. Johnson also gave nearly 40 presentations to national and regional audiences, dating back to 1984.

Traveling with Spine Medicine

Dr. Johnson traveled around the world, and often takes his passion for spine medicine with him. In addition to his time in San Francisco and Hong Kong, he has been honored with several visiting professorships:

  • Department of Neurosurgery, University of Madrid, Spain
  • Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital of Valencia, Spain
  • Department of Neurosurgery, University of Lyon, France
  • Department of Neurosurgery, University of Paris, France
  • London Spine Clinic, England

Dr.Johnson, with Dr. Poletti, performed the first Micro Endoscopic Discectomy and the first Artificial Disc Replacement in South Carolina. The two also collaborated to develop the minimally invasive Globus Percutaneous spine fixation system. Dr. Johnson continues to work with medical research companies to bring the latest technology and cutting-edge advancements to spine medicine and to you.


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