About Dr. Thomas J. Kleeman

Dr. Kleeman is a board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine surgery. He has devoted his career to the innovation and advancement of minimally invasive spine surgery. He is known internationally for his pioneering work on laparoscopic spine surgery and has served as presenter and faculty for spine courses hosted by The North American Spine Society, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the Cleveland Clinic. He was the founder of the New Hampshire Spine Institute which went on to become the New Hampshire NeuroSpine Institute. His research interests have included minimally invasive spine surgery, artificial spinal disc replacement and alternative spinal fusion bone grafts including recombinant human DNA as well as adult stem cells.

Dr. Kleeman, after finishing his residency and upon returning to New Hampshire, established the first Multidisciplinary Institute in New Hampshire to specialize in evaluation and treatment of spinal disorders. Presently Dr. Kleeman is involved in developing the application of surgical navigation for use in minimally invasive spine surgery. This multidimensional operating room platform allows for the integration of surgery and radiographic imaging to allow never-before-seen accuracy in complex spinal surgery. This translates to safer, more effective surgery with fewer complications, less pain, and faster recovery.

Dr. Kleeman assisted in bringing the first diagnostic quality intra-operative CT scanner (O-arm) in New England to the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH. This technology and Dr. Kleeman's innovative surgery have brought patients from around the country to receive the latest and best in spinal surgery.

In 2013 Dr. Kleeman and his wife Anne created MD Fitness, a program that included 3 videos entitled the Doctor’s Workout. The workouts were based on medically proven exercise techniques such as Cardio, strength training, stretching, circuit training, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

The last 5 years have been spent helping to develop a totally new and innovative surgical procedure called The Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion. Working with a select team of surgeons and engineers, he helped not only to create and perfect the surgical procedure, but also to design the instruments necessary to perform the procedure. Dr. Kleeman has been particularly interested in applying his expertise in Surgical Navigation to this new procedure. Surgeons have flown in from as far away as Australia and Japan to watch him perform this innovative operation.

In 2017, Dr. Kleeman transitioned from full time to part time practice at The New Hampshire Neurospine Institute. He and his wife Anne moved to Alaska, also known as “The Last Frontier”. Alaska was one of the first states to make use of a type of medical care known as Telemedicine where a doctor can be located a remote distance from his patient yet be able to see and evaluate the patient with the use of modern technology. From his office in Alaska, Dr. Kleeman has been able to evaluate and treat patients from the northern region of New Hampshire through a program he set up with Catholic Medical Center situated in Manchester New Hampshire. Dr. Kleeman travels back to New Hampshire once a month to perform surgery on the Telemedicine patients for any elective procedures they might need. His frequent trips back to New Hampshire also allows him to continue to care for his own patient population which has grown considerably over the years.

After 30 years of practice as an Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Kleeman decided he wanted to give something back to the medical community. New Hampshire has been known as the epicenter for what has become a worldwide epidemic known as the Opioid Crisis. This crisis has taken the medical community by storm with little warning. Unfortunately, as a result, most of the efforts are devoted to addressing the immediate crisis. And yet medicine teaches us that the best way to eliminate a medical problem is to prevent it in the first place.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Kleeman has developed a way to effectively treat Back Pain non-surgically without the use of Opioids. He has developed seven scientifically proven techniques he collectively refers to as “The RELEASE Method”. Dr. Kleeman has recently published a book titled “RELEASE Yourself from Back Pain Without Opioids” which is due to come out in September of 2019. A significant amount of the proceeds from the book will be donated to organizations involved in fighting the battle against Opioid abuse and the untimely deaths that result from drug overdose. It is hoped that the RELEASE Method can help pave the way to preventing opioid abuse by offering medically proven alternatives.

You can find out more about the RELEASE Method on this website.

AREAS OF INTEREST:
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Artificial Spinal Disc Replacement
Alternative Spinal Fusion Bone Grafts
Surgical Navigation
Non-surgical treatment of Back Pain without Opioids

HONORS & AWARDS:
Inducted into the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha
University of Maryland Medical System - Spine Surgery Fellowship
Award from the North American Spine Society for his presentation of "the port-hole technique"

SOCIETIES:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
North American Spine Society
New England Spine Study Group

BUSINESSES:
Founder, New Hampshire NeuroSpine Institute
Established the first Multidisciplinary Institute in NH - specializing in evaluation and treatment of spinal disorders.
Creator, MDfitness, The Doctor's Workout

PERSONAL DATA:
Date of Birth: October 17, 1948
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Wife: Anne Talbot-Kleeman

EDUCATION:
1966 - 1971 Colorado College, B.A. (Drama)
1974 - 1976 University of Vermont, B.S. (Summa Cum Laude)
1977 - 1981 Yale University of Medicine, M.D.
1981 - 1982 Yale-New Haven Hospital, Intern (Surgery)
1982 - 1983 Yale-New Haven Hospital, Assistant Resident (Surgery)
1983 - 1986 Yale-New Haven Hospital, Newington Children's Hospital, Resident
1991 - 1992 University of Maryland Medical System, (Spine Fellowship)

ACADEMIC & FACULTY APPOINTMENTS:
1976 - 1977 Instructor in Mathematics, Salisbury School
1985 - 1986 Yale-New Haven Hospital, Instructor in Surgery (Orthopaedics)
1991 - 1992 University of Maryland Medical System, Instructor in Surgery (Spine Fellowship)

STAFF APPOINTMENTS:
President, New Hampshire NeuroSpine Institute, Bedford, NH, 1995 - Present
Active Staff Member, Catholic Medical Center and Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH, 1986 - Present President of Medical Staff, Catholic Medical Center, 2016 - 2017
Courtesy Staff Member, Concord Hospital, Concord, NH, 1992 - 2004
Director, Catholic Medical Center Spine Center, 1992 - 1994

MEMBERSHIPS:
1986 - present Hillsborough County Medical Society
1986 - present New Hampshire Medical Society
1988 - present American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
1991 - present New England Spine Study Group
1993 - present New Hampshire Orthopaedic Society
1993 - present American Medical Association
1993 - present North American Spine Society
1993 - 1999 Governor's Advisory Council on Workers' Compensation

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS:
1997 Physician Commendation Recipient, "Center of Excellence", Healthsource - Jobcare
1997 North American Spine Society Outstanding Poster Award, "Patient Outcomes Following Minimally Destabilizing Lumbar Stenosis Decompression: The 'Port-Hole' Technique"

HONORS & HONORARY SOCIETIES:
1976 Certificate of Academic Achievement, University of Vermont
1981 Alpha Omega Alpha, Yale Chapter

RESEARCH AFFILIATIONS:
1990 - Spinal Fixation Group, Baltimore, Maryland IDE G-900219 (Edwards Spinal Screw Fixation) FDA License
1991 - Present New England Spine Study Group
1997 - Present Threaded Cortical Bone Dowel Study
1998 - Present rhBMP-2/ACS/NovusTM LT-Laparoscopic Device Clinical Trial IDE #G960065
2003 - Present MAVERICK Clinical Trial, IDE #G010354

LICENSURE & CERTIFICATION:
1982 Diplomate, National Board of Medical Examiners, Cert. No. 250588
1988 Diplomate, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons
2008 Recertified, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons NH Medical License No. 7321

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
"The Effects of Altitude and COPD on 2, 3-DPG", June, 1991. In Yale University Medical Library.

Edwards, C.C., Kleeman, T.J.: Spine Biomechanics: Obtaining Stability. In H. Cotler (Ed) Rehabilitation of the Spine. NY: Springer-Verlag (1992).

Kleeman, T.J., Hiscoe, A.C., Berg, E.E.: "Patient Outcomes Following Minimally Destabilizing Lumbar Stenosis Decompression: The 'Port Hole' Technique", Spine, April 2000.

Kleeman, T.J., Ahn, U.M., Talbot-Kleeman, A.: "Laparoscopic Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion with RHBMP-2. A Prospective Study of Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes," Spine, Dec. 15, 2001.

Kleeman, T.J., Ahn, U.M., Clutterbuck, W.B., Campbell, C.J., Gagnon, A.M., Talbot-Kleeman, A.C.: Laparoscopic Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion at L4-L5: An Anatomic Evaluation and Approach Classification, Spine, July 1, 2002.

POSTERS:
"Patient Outcomes Following Minimally Destabilizing Lumbar Stenosis Decompression: The 'Port-Hole' Technique"; North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, New York, NY; October 22 - 25, 1997. Awarded 1997 Outstanding Poster.

"Preliminary Results of Laparoscopic Lumbar Interbody Fusion Using Threaded Cortical Bone Dowels"; Poster Presenter, North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California; October 28 - 31, 1998.

PAPERS:
"Patient Outcomes Following Minimally Destabilizing Lumbar Stenosis Decompression: The ' Port-Hole' Technique"; Paper Presenter, North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California; October 28 - 31, 1998.

"Critical Analysis of Laparoscopic ALIF vs. Posterolateral Fusion with Instrumentation"; Paper Presenter, North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois; October 20 - 23, 1999.

"Laparoscopic ALIF: rhBMP-2 with Titanium Cages vs Autograft with Bone Dowels", Paper Presenter, North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana; October 25 – 28, 2000.

PRESENTATIONS:
1. Outcome Analysis; New England Spine Study Group, Sugarbush, VT; January 20, 1995.
2. Managed Care: The Physician's Role; Holland Managed Care Workshop, Concord, NH; January 26, 1995
3. The Surgical Treatment of Injured Workers; New Hampshire Association of Service Providers in Private Rehabilitation, Bedford, NH; February 10, 1996
4. Trends in Spine Surgery; New Hampshire Orthopaedic Society, Sugar Hill, NH; May 19, 1995
5. Trends in Spine Care; Elliot Hospital Physician Education Program, Manchester, NH; June 15, 1995
6. Iliac Crest Graft Harvesting with Allograft Replacement; New England Spine Study Group, Edgartown, MA; August 25, 1995
7. The Evaluation of Permanent Impairments; Devine Millimet & Branch Workers' Compensation Seminar, Manchester, NH; October 10, 1995
8. AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment - Fourth Edition; NH Adjusters Association Annual Workers' Compensation Conference, Nashua, NH; October 19, 1995
9. What Prevents People from Getting Well; New Hampshire Rehabilitation Association, Nashua, NH; November 3, 1995
10. AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment - Fourth Edition Seminar; Utah Workers' Compensation System, Salt Lake City, UT; December 11, 1995
11. Outcome Analysis; New England Spine Study Group, Springfield, MA; January 26, 1996
12. Permanent Impairment Ratings; New Hampshire Department of Labor, Concord, NH; March 4, 1996
13. The Surgical Treatment of Back Injuries; Healthsource Inc., Concord, NH; March 27, 1996
14. Managed Care & Workers' Compensation; Panel Member, Fifth Annual Continuing Education Conference, NH Adjusters Association; October 17, 1996
15. Spinal Stenosis - A Surgical Technique; New England Spine Study Group, Sturbridge, MA; January 31, 1997
16. Initial Treatment of Acute Low Back Pain; Management of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis; Outcomes Measurement in the Treatment of Spinal Disorders, Regional Spine Symposium; Highlands Spine Institute, Bristol, TN; April 25, 1997
17. Preparing Patients for a Realistic Expectation of Low Back Surgery Outcome; Vermont Workers' Compensation Adjusters' Conference, Lake Morey, VT; May 23, 1997
18. Back Injuries in the Workplace; Liberty Mutual, Bedford, NH; June 18, 1997
19. 1997 Image Guided System Think Tank for Spine Surgeons; Presenter and Panel Member, sponsored by Sofamor Danek, Jackson Hole, WY; July 30 - August 2, 1997
20. Outcome Analysis of Back Care; Liberty Mutual, Dover, NH; October 1, 1997
21. Laparoscopic Fusion Using Threaded Cortical Bone Dowels; Presenter and Faculty Member, Sofamor Danek Meeting, North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, New York, NY; October 22, 1997
22. Patient Evaluation for Non-Organic Signs; Devine Millimet & Branch Workers' Compensation Seminar, Manchester, NH; January 13, 1998
23. Independent Medical Examinations, Functional Capacity Evaluations and Second Opinions: Tools or Torment?; Panel Member, NH Association of Service Providers in Private Rehabilitation Seminar, Manchester, NH; April 24, 1998
24. Advances in Endoscopic Spinal Surgery Educational Course; Faculty Member, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH; May 14 - 16, 1998
25. Laparoscopic Spine Fusion; NH Orthopaedic Society Annual Meeting, Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, NH; June 6, 1998
26. Open & Minimally Invasive Surgery of the Lumbar and Thoracic Spine Workshop; Faculty Member, Sofamor Danek Medical Education Research Institute, Memphis, TN; July 16 - 18, 1998
27. Post-Operative Management of Patients Following Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery; Optima Health - Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH; July 29, 1998
28. Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Symposium; New England Spine Study Group, Manchester, VT; August 14, 1998
29. Controversies in the Surgical Management of Spinal Disorders Symposium; Think Tank for Spine Surgeons sponsored by Sofamor Danek, Iliama, AK; August 19 - 22, 1998
30. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: Laparoscopic Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion; Southern NH O.R. Nurses, Elliot Hospital, Manchester, NH; November 10, 1998
31. Laparoscopic Anatomy of Lumbar Interbody Fusion; Laparoscopic Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion; Pitfalls of Threaded Cortical Bone Dowels; Faculty Member, Clinical Update: Lumbar Interbody Fusion - 1998 & Beyond, Seattle, WA; November 14 - 15, 1998
32. Spinal Stabilization & Rehabilitation; NH Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, Concord, NH; November 19, 1998
33. Overview of Minially Invasive Spine Surgery; Results of Endoscopic Lumbar Fusion; Faculty Member, Endoscopic Spinal Fusion Workshop; University of Massachusetts, Department of Surgery, Worcester, MA; November 20, 1998
34. Preserving Stability in Spinal Stenosis: The "Port-Hole" Decompression; Experience with Laparoscopic Lumbar Interbody Fusion: The First 100 Cases; Faculty Member, Yale Orthopaedic Association Meeting, Bermuda; March 25 - 28, 1999
35. Indications & Contraindications for Laparoscopy; Laparoscopic Surgical Applications & Experience; Complications of Laparoscopic Spine Surgery; Faculty Member, Minimally Invasive Surgery of the Spine, sponsored by Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY; April 9 - 10, 1999.
36. The Aging Back and Spine; Physician Postgraduate Seminar, Elliot Hospital; Manchester, NH; January 13, 2000
37. Laparoscopic ALIF: Novus LT/rhBMP-2 vs. Autograft/Bone Dowels; New England Spine Study Group, Sturbridge, MA; February 11, 2000
38. Interbody Spine Surgery: Challenges and Solutions" Program; Faculty Member, Sofamor Danek Medical Education Research Institute, Nashville, TN; October 21, 2000
39. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – Laparoscopic Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion; Presenter, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA; January 31, 2001
40. InFUSE Bone Graft/LT Cage; Lumbar Tapared Fusion Device; Investigator, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Chicago, IL, February 3, 2001
41. Interbody Challenges of the Lumbar Spine Discussion Group; Faculty Member, Sofamor Danek Educational Program, Cabo San Lucas, June 21 - 23, 2001
42. State-of-the-Art Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery; Faculty Member, Spinal Science Advancement Foundation, Orlando, FL, August 2 - 4, 2001
43. Advanced Training for the Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease of the Lumbar Spine; Instructor, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Memphis, TN, August 25 - 28, 2001
44. Vascular Variations and Effect on Retrograde Ejaculation, Presenter, New England Spine Study Group, Framingham, MA, January 25,2002
45. Bone Graft Options in the Lumbar Spine; Moderator, Live Videoconference, Hughston Orthopaedic Clinic Foundation, Boston, MA, February 2, 2002
46. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, #3406; Faculty, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, St. Louis, MO, April 12 - 14, 2002
47. Bone Graft Options in the Lumbar Spine; Faculty Member, Live Videoconference, Hughston Orthopaedic Clinic Foundation, Columbus, GA, May 18, 2002
48. The New Frontiers of Spinal Surgery; Presenter, New England Orthopedic Society, Dixville Notch, NH, May 31 - June 2, 2002
49. Bone Graft/LT-CAGE Lumbar Tapered Fusion Device Education; Faculty Member, Live Videoconference, Hughston Orthopaedic Clinic Foundation, Columbus, GA, July 20, 2002
50. The New Frontiers of Spine Surgery; Liberty Mutual, Bedford, NH, October 4,2002
51. New Technology in the Treatment of Spine Disorders; Memorial Hospital, North Conway, NH, Grand Rounds, December 13, 2002
52. New Technology in the Treatment of Spine Disorders; Southern NH Internal Medicine Assoc., Derry, NH, March 2, 2003
53. Anterior Laparoscopic Surgery of the Lumbar Spine; Faculty, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Memphis, TN, March 28, 2003
54. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Course, #3603; Faculty, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, St. Louis, MO, April 4 - 6, 2003
55. Peri-operative and Post-operative Implications of Spine Surgery; Parkland Medical Center, Derry, NH, Grand Rounds, July 25, 2003
56. Minimally Invasive Approaches to the Interbody Space, Presenter, Orthopedics Today, Memphis, TN, August 9, 2003
57. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Faculty, World Spine II, Chicago, IL, August 10, 2003 58. Interbody Technologies: ALIF, Faculty, North American Spine Society, 18th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, October 21, 2003
59. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery/Bone Morphogenetic Protein, Faculty, NH Musculoskeletal Institute 4th Annual Winter Meeting, March 19 - 20, 2004, Stowe, VT
60. New Technology in the Treatment of Spine Disorders, Presenter, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA, September 7, 2005
61. Surgical Considerations for Back Pain, Faculty, New England Pain Association 2007 Annual Winter Conference on Pain Management, February 2, 2007
62. Spine Surgery...It's not what it used to be; Surgical Navigation, New Hampshire Neuro Spine Institute, Presenter, June 13, 2007
63. Current Surgical Options in the Management of Chronic Low Back Pain, Concord Hospital NAON meeting, May 6, 2009