Latest News


West Cancer Center & Semmes Murphey Partner to Develop a New, Noninvasive Alternative for Cancer Patients

West Cancer Center & Research Institute and Semmes Murphey Clinic have partnered together to advance a new and noninvasive procedure for treating brain tumor, trigeminal neuralgia, and meningioma patients with Gamma Radiosurgery, also known as Cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery. 

Cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery is administered on a radiation machine called a MASEP Infini®, and Memphis is home to one of only two in the United States (located at Methodist University Hospital with Radiosurgical Center of Memphis).

It is an extremely effective, comfortable, and safe procedure. There is no incision and patients do not need their head shaved. Cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery focuses tiny beams of radiation on a specific target within the brain, without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. The treatment is usually a one-time therapy completed in a single day.

Semmes Murphey neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeffery Sorenson, was among the team who administered the first Cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery treatment in the Mid-South. 

"Our first treatment went really well. The treatment took a fraction of the time that the older technology we were previously using took. The MASEP Infini® system will also allow for more advanced pre-treatment collaboration between the surgeon and radiation oncologist for complex cases. We are at the beginning of a new era for radiosurgery." - Dr. Jeffery Sorenson

The collaboration between the West Cancer Center & Research Institute and Semmes Murphey Clinic is at the forefront of researching and developing new technology for stereotactic radiation therapies. According to Dr. Matthew Ballo, Director of Radiation Oncology at West Cancer Center & Research Institute, "Our goal is to further develop the Cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery procedure using a MASEP Infini® to then distribute this technology and our knowledge to other areas of the country to offer a new therapy option to cancer patients."

To learn more about Cranial Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Radiosurgical Center of Memphis, visit their website here.

Source article from CISION PR Newswire


Dr. Michael Removes Brain Tumor through Minimally Invasive Technique

Michael Beckman underwent brain surgery in November of 2018 to have a benign tumor removed from his pituitary gland. The tumor was discovered by Beckman's primary care doctor when he went in for dizziness. Beckman was then referred to Dr. Madison Michael and ENT Dr. Sanjeet Rangarajan to start plans of getting the tumor removed. 

With the location and size of Bekman's tumor, Dr. Michael knew he was a great candidate for the endoscopic endonasal approach (EEA), a modern surgical technique used to remove brain tumors through the nose. This technique is minimally invasive where, traditionally, brain tumors are removed through an incision on the scalp or forehead and leads to a longer recovery.

The EEA technique is now the standard of care here at Semmes Murphey and Methodist University Hospital, where Beckman's surgery took place. The surgery lasted about five hours and Michael Beckman was able to return to home the next day. He was extremely grateful to be able to go home so quickly. 

“The evolution of this technique has all been dependent on a multidisciplinary approach. Working together with an ENT makes this extremely safe and extremely effective.” - Dr. Madison Michael 

When the EEA procedure was new, cerebral spinal fluid leaks were not uncommon, causing headaches and affecting sense of smell, vision and hearing for patients. Since Rangarajan and Michael began working together over the past year, their leak rate is 0%. 

This is a summary taken from the Daily Memphian. Read the full article here





Lucas' Story

In October of 2018, Dr. Anthony Sheyn of Le Bonheur Children's Hospital received an email from a St. Jude colleague saying that a 10-year-old boy in Peru had been diagnosed with an aggressive Juvenile Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma. The tumor extended into his skull and optic nerve. Although the tumor was aggressive and lethal, it was not cancerous so St. Jude couldn’t accept the case. The tumor was one of the largest that Dr. Sheyn and his colleagues had ever seen, and they felt confident they could safely remove it.

They took the case to Meri Armour, Le Bonheur Hospital president, who agreed to do the case pro-bono, providing they could find a local sponsor to cover food and transportation. All of the physician groups, including Semmes Murphey Clinic, Pediatric Anesthesiologists and University Clinical Health, agreed to do their part pro-bono as well.  After casting a very wide net, a local church agreed to sponsor the patient, Lucas, and soon after, travel arrangements, multiple clinic appointments, and many details began to fall into place.

On November 2, Lucas and his mom, Paola, arrived in Memphis. During the course of his two-month stay, Lucas had three surgeries. The first surgery was performed at Methodist University Hospital by Drs. Lucas Elijovich and Sanjeet Rangarajan for a 10-hour embolization. After surgery, PediFlite transported him intubated and sedated to the Neuro ICU at Le Bonheur.  The other two surgeries were coordinated and performed at Le Bonheur by Alyson and Mary Cline, Drs. Rangarajan, Sheyn, Madison Michael, and Paul Klimo. After many hours, the team successfully removed the entire tumor.

So many Semmes Murphey, Methodist, and Le Bonheur associates went above and beyond to help this precious family. Semmes Murphey is proud to have so many partners in the Memphis area who are just as passionate as saving lives and improving quality of life for patients as we are. 


Bike Safety from our Physical Therapists

May is National Bike Month and we are excited to continue our partnership with Explore Bike Share!


We encourage you to get out and ride and explore our city but before you do, take these bike safety tips provided by a few of Semmes Murphey's physical therapists.

Benefits of Cycling:


Cycling helps increase your body’s stamina and gives a boost to the endurance capacity of a person. Energy levels get higher, resulting in enthusiasm at work and generally higher energy for all normal activities. It opens options for other kinds of exercises and fitness activities.

Cycling is an excellent exercise for burning calories. A person cycling with a speed of 10 mph burns approximately 300 calories in an hour. Cycling strengthens the muscles in the core, thighs, buttocks, and arms. Regularly working these muscles helps improve your body’s composition.

Other than the physical health benefits, there are social and mental health benefits that make cycling an enjoyable activity as well.  Research has shown that participating in any kind of sport can reduce stress, but in some cases, playing sports might not be possible. Instead, one can spend time riding a bicycle, which is also equally beneficial in reducing stress and depression.  Cycling has been shown to help with pain management. It is considered as a “releasing” exercise. Releasing exercises play a very important role in alleviating physiological and psychological issues like stress, tension, and pain. Cycling is a widely accepted pain-reduction strategy.

"It is important to vary your hand and body position frequently. This changes the angle of your back, hips, neck and arms, so that different muscles and joints are stressed . Keep your arms relaxed and don’t lock your elbows. This will help you absorb bumps better."  Ben Graves, PT 

Injury Prevention


Cyclists can help prevent overuse injuries by:

  • Having their bike fit appropriately for their body
  • Maintaining a pedal cadence of 88–95 rpm (revolutions per minute) or higher
  • Maximizing pedal stroke to optimize the muscular balance
  • Using a clipless pedal position that mimics the alignment of the foot when it is dangling off of a table when in a sitting position
  • Maintaining hip and low back strength and flexibility

"Always wear a helmet EVERY time you ride a bike to protect your head. One fall could result in a head injury." Kathryn Berry, PT

Common Causes of Knee Pain in Cyclists


Medial pain is located on the inside of the knee due to friction between the knee cap and thigh bone. This pain may be associated with riding with a seat that is too low or having a pedaling cadence that is too slow. Decreased hip flexibility can also be associated with inner knee pain.

Lateral pain is located on the outside of the knee and be due to the friction of the Iliotibial band over the fat pad or bone of the femur. This pain may be associated with inappropriate cleat and pedal position, the inappropriate position of the bike seat, leg length discrepancy and/or improper ankle position while riding.

Anterior pain is located directly in front of the knee due to excessive compression forces between the knee cap and thigh bone. This pain may be associated with a seat that is too low, too far forward and/or riding with a low pedal cadence

"Bicyclists should follow the rules of the road which includes yielding to pedestrians." Caroline Daniel




Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Foley for being awarded the Cushing Award for Technical Excellence and Innovation in Neurosurgery

Dr. Kevin Foley was just awarded the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Cushing Award for Technical Excellence and Innovation in Neurosurgery at the AANS annual meeting in April.

Kevin Foley, MD, FAANS, is a tenured professor of neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and biomedical engineering at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tenn. He is the chairman of the board of Semmes Murphey Clinic, director of the spine fellowship program for the University of Tennessee Department of Neurosurgery and chairman of the board and medical director for the Medical Education & Research Institute. In addition to a full-time spine surgery practice, he is actively involved in medical device development and research in minimally invasive spine surgery, disc regeneration and clinical outcomes.

Dr. Foley has been granted more than 150 patents by the USPTO and invented many of the tools and techniques (tubular retractors, percutaneous pedicle screws with removable extenders) that have enabled modern minimally invasive spine surgery.

We are proud to call Dr. Foley one of our own! 

Dr. Foley receiving his award at the AANS conference


Get Back in Gear at the Semmes Murphey Bike Station

Did you know that the Semmes Murphey Explore Bike Share station on the Memphis side of Big River Crossing, the pedestrian/bike trail on the Harahan Bridge across the Mississippi River, is the most-used in the citywide system? Read more at The Daily Memphian.

Semmes Murphey is proud to be a part of this program that provides interconnectivity in our city and encourages the community to exercise and have healthy lifestyles. The bike share program is easy, affordable, and accessible with a 24-hour day pass for $5 and a monthly membership for $15. 

Be sure to check out our station and get back in gear with us as we ride throughout Memphis! 




Interventional Pain Management at Semmes Murphey

Interventional pain management is the medical practice of alleviating as much pain as possible for patients. Our interventional pain team consists of Dr. Autry Parker, Dr. Samuel C. Polk III, and Dr. Jay McDonald. They work together to develop the best possible treatment approach to make their patients better, rather than just covering up their issues through medication.

They believe it's about seeing each patient as a whole person. First, the doctors will determine where the pain is coming from and then intervene by creating treatment plans that can include an exercise program through physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation, and more.

Semmes Murphey has world-renowned physicians with years of experience who work together as a team to determine a patient's problem. Through the in-house care at Semmes Murphey, patients can get all the treatment they need in a world-class facility. 

To learn more about what procedures Semmes Murphey Clinic can offer you:


Watch our interventional pain management video


Dr. Arnautovic Publishes Book on Spinal Tumors

Semmes Murphey's Dr. Kenan Arnautovic has literally written the book on spinal tumors and their surgical treatment. Along with co-editor Dr. Ziya Gokaslan of Brown University, Dr. Arnautovic compiled the best information from neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, and pediatric neurosurgeons from around the country and the globe to provide an in-depth, contemporary review of all aspects of treatment for spinal cord tumors. 

A growing area of research and interest, spinal tumors are relatively rare (less than 15% of all CNS tumors) but have devastating impacts on patients and their quality of life. Difficult to treat because of size, blood supply, and proximity to delicate nerves, Arnautovic discovered that these types of tumors did not have significant existing literature concerning their treatment. Highly experienced in this area, he has created a resource with comprehensive, in-depth information, figures, and even video clips for neurosurgeons at the resident and graduate levels. 

To read more about this publication or to purchase the book, visit Springer's website, here.

To learn more about Dr. Arnautovic and his expertise, click here.


Dr. Adam Arthur the First to Perform Surgery with Alternative Aneurysm Device

Dr. Adam Arthur first met Cornelius Brown three years ago when he performed major surgery to prevent an aneurysm in her brain from rupturing. On January 28th, Dr. Arthur was able to perform surgery again but this time with a new FDA-approved alternative aneurysm device called the WEB, or Woven EndoBridge. It was the first operation in the country to be performed using the new device.

The WEB was developed by Tom Wilder, president and CEO of Sequent Medical Inc., and Dr. Bill Patterson, who asked Dr. Arthur to be the principal investigator on the clinical trials which was a more than 5-year effort to develop the device. The device was finally approved by the FDA September 2018.

Cornelius Brown decided to move forward with the WEB for her second surgery when Dr. Arthur described the small woven basket and it's minimally invasive approach to prevent her aneurysm from rupturing. Dr. Arthur would insert the WEB using a catheter through her groin rather than removing a portion of her skull, allowing for Brown to heal much faster and more comfortably. 

To learn more about this ground-breaking device and Cornelius Brown, read the full article in The Daily Memphian

Photo courtesy of Jim Weber, Daily Memphian


Dr. Arthur Heads Up Clinical Trials for New Aneurysm Device

Semmes Murphey is proud to have Dr. Adam Arthur on our team of excellent neurosurgeons. He was the principal investigator for clinical trials on the WEB Aneurysm Embolization System, a newly FDA approved device that is used to treat a wide range of aneurysms via a woven spherical basket and catheter.

Dr. Arthur was the first neurosurgeon in the U.S. to use the new device which debuted at Methodist University Hospital on Monday, January 28th. Dr. Daniel Hoit and Dr. Lucas Elijovic were also involved in the clinical trials and will go on to treat patients with the new device.

The new device will add a safer, minimally-invasive option to treating aneurysms and also has the potential to cut down on the recovery time, offering patients the ability to go home the same day of surgery as opposed to a multiple-day hospital stay.

Stay tuned for more updates as the device is used in more procedures by our Semmes Murphey physicians.

Additional information and sources from:

The Memphis Business Journal: Pioneering brain treatment makes U.S. debut in Memphis.

MicroVention FDA Approval Press Release