Kevin T. Foley, MD, FAANS

Dr. Kevin Foley is a professor of neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, and biomedical engineering at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee.  He serves as chairman of Semmes Murphey Clinic, director of complex spine surgery at Semmes Murphey, director of the spine fellowship program for the University of Tennessee Department of Neurosurgery, and medical director for the Medical Education & Research Institute.

Dr. Foley received his doctor of medicine degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1979.  After an internship at Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, he returned to UCLA in 1980 to complete his neurosurgery residency.

Following residency, Dr. Foley served in the United States Army Medical Corps as assistant chief of neurosurgery at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, chief of neurosurgery at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and chief of neurosurgery as well as chairman of the neurosurgical residency program at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.  In 1992, Dr. Foley left the military and joined Semmes Murphey Clinic and the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

In addition to a full-time surgery practice, Dr. Foley is actively involved in research in minimally invasive spine surgery, disc regeneration, image-guided spinal surgery, robotics, spinal biomechanics, and neurosurgical outcomes.  He has authored more than 35 book chapters and more than 125 scientific journal publications.  He is the inventor of many medical devices and biologic products and has been issued more than 150 patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office.  Several of his inventions have advanced the field of minimally invasive spine surgery, to include tubular retractors, percutaneous screw fixation using detachable extenders, and tapered and expandable interbody implants.  He has lectured at more than 600 scientific meetings and educational workshops and has been a visiting professor and invited lecturer at several universities in the USA and abroad. He serves on the board of directors for several medical device and biologics companies to include Discgenics, LaunchPad Medical, and Triad Life Sciences.  In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Foley was honored with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Cushing Award for Technical Excellence and Innovation in Neurosurgery in 2019.


  • Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors list, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Memphis Magazine’s Top Doctors, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • Vitals Patients’ Choice Award, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • U.S. News & World Report list of Top Doctors, 2012
  • “Patients’ Choice” list of Doctors, 2012
  • Good Health Magazine Top Docs List, 2012
  • Memphis Business Journal - "What's Next in Medicine?" Table of Experts Panel
  • Memphis Business Journal Finalist in Healthcare Heroes Awards - Healthcare Innovations Category, 2018
  • AANS Cushing Award for Technical Excellence and Innovation in Neurosurgery, 2019

Disorders & Treatments

Additional Areas of Expertise

  • Anterior Discectomy & Fusion for Cervical Disc Disease
  • Cervical & Lumbar Disc Disease
  • Chiari Malformations
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • General Neurosurgery
  • High-Grade Spondylolisthesis
  • Image Guided Spinal Navigation
  • Image Guided Surgery
  • Lumbar Instrumentation & Fusion
  • Radiculopathy
  • Revision Spine Surgery
  • Spinal Biomechanics
  • Spinal Cord Tumor Surgery
  • Spinal Fractures
  • Spinal Malalignment
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis & Spinal Instability


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