Merritt D. Kinon, MD
- Neurological Surgery
- Practice Specialty
- Neurological Surgery, Brain Tumors, Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Spine Surgery
- Medical Education
- Indiana University School of Medicine
- Montefiore Medical Center
- Duke University Hospital
- Main Location
- Academic Title
- Assistant Professor, Neurological Surger
- Administrative Title
- Director, Spinal Education
- Clinical Focus
Merritt D. Kinon, MD, is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon who offers comprehensive care of adult spinal conditions. His practice specializes in adult degenerative spine disease and its management. He has performed numerous spine surgeries, including spinal decompression surgery and spinal fusion surgery, minimally invasive surgery and microscopic surgery. Dr. Kinon is one of the few spine surgeons at Montefiore who performs total disc arthroplasty surgery.
Dr. Kinon also has a keen interest in conditions of the craniocervical junction, including rheumatologic conditions, complex adult deformity surgery, revision spine surgery (in particular, revision spinal fusions), spinal oncology (including primary and metastatic tumor of the spinal cord and spinal column), spine trauma and infectious conditions of the spine.
In addition, Dr. Kinon works closely with the Pain Management Service at Montefiore to care for patients with chronic pain conditions related to the spine. He does neuromodulation and functional and restorative surgery, including spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve surgery and Chiari malformation surgery.
- Research Focus
Dr. Kinon’s research focuses on improving the spine patient’s postsurgical pain experience and how it relates to the length of hospital stay, improved physical function and activity status after surgery, overall satisfaction, and overall pain medicine requirements that include decreased opioid use. In response to the opioid crisis, currently he is conducting a multi-institutional study investigating the use of intraoperative methadone administration as a way to lessen the spine patient’s postsurgical pain and pain medicine requirements. He has a collaborative relationship with the anesthesia department and orthopedic surgery department and is developing both presurgical and postsurgical pain management pathways and protocols to improve the spine surgery patient’s overall surgical experience. His other research interests include spine surgery outcomes with a focus on the cost-effectiveness of treatments and spinal biomechanical research related to spinal fusions.
Dr. Kinon is Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery and Director of Spinal Education for the Leo M. Davidoff Department of Neurological Surgery. He is a New York native. He grew up on Long Island and then moved to Indianapolis, IN, with his family to finish high school. Dr. Kinon graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with a degree in computational neuroscience. He received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN. After returning to New York, he completed his residency in neurosurgery at our Albert Einstein College of Medicine under the direction of Eugene Flamm, MD. During his residency, he completed an enfolded fellowship in surgical neuro-oncology with Patrick LaSala, MD, focusing on the radiation treatment of central nervous system (CNS) neoplasms. After residency, Dr. Kinon completed a postgraduate fellowship in comprehensive adult complex spine neurosurgery with Carlos A. Bagley, MD, at Duke University Medical Center.
Dr. Kinon has presented at many regional, national, and international conferences on various aspects of the surgical management of spinal disease. He has a number of publications on various topics of expertise related to neurosurgery and spine surgery, in particular. He is an invited peer reviewer for several journals, including World Neurosurgery and Surgical Neurology International. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the AANS/CNS Joint Spine Section, the North American Spine Society, AOSpine, the New York State Neurosurgical Society and the American Medical Association.
As Director of Spinal Education for Montefiore’s Department of Neurological Surgery, he takes great interest and pride in medical education. He actively mentors and teaches residents and medical students. He holds weekly didactic conferences and monthly journal clubs to discuss the latest research and surgical techniques related to spinal surgery. Dr. Kinon also works closely with both Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore through a mentoring program for underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged high school and undergraduate students that offers students a unique opportunity to become exposed to the medical profession.