James Bernatz, MD

  • Spine Medicine
James Bernatz, MD


James Bernatz, MD, is a UW Health orthopedic spine surgeon and an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Dr. Bernatz treats the full spectrum of conditions affecting the back or spine. These include degenerative disks, herniated (bulging, slipped or ruptured) disks, arthritis, scoliosis (curved spine) and other spine diseases and disorders. He also treats patients with traumatic spinal injuries, tumors and infections.

Dr. Bernatz uses surgical and nonsurgical treatments to relieve pain and restore function. He is trained in a range of complex and minimally invasive procedures using innovative technologies and techniques.

As a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Bernatz has advanced training in treating complex spinal conditions. This includes patients who have had previous spine surgeries and other conditions that require specialized care.

In addition to his clinical, teaching and leadership roles, Dr. Bernatz conducts research to improve bone health before and after spine surgery for improved outcomes. He also studies new, minimally invasive spine fusion techniques that reduce discomfort and shorten recovery times.

In his free time, Dr. Bernatz enjoys golfing, biking and spending time with his family.

It’s rewarding to help patients recover from debilitating spine disease. I help them get back to their regular life as soon as possible.

Languages spoken
  • English

Education & credentials

Medical School
  • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Madison, WI

Areas of expertise

  • Adult Deformity (Scoliosis)
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy
  • Back pain
  • Cervical Laminoplasty
  • Complex Cervical Surgery
  • Complex Lumbar Surgery
  • Complex Thoracic Surgery
  • Degenerative Spine Disease
  • Diskectomy
  • Neck pain
  • Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  • Spine care