MEET RICHARD NACHWALTER, MD
Dr. Nachwalter is an orthopedic spine surgeon with more than 15 years of experience specializing in all disorders of the spine. He is fellowship trained in orthopedic spine surgery and holds a subspecialty fellowship in spinal surgery.
To meet with Dr. Nachwalter in person, request a consultation or call (973) 971-3500 to schedule an appointment at Atlantic Spine Specialists. Our exceptional orthopedic surgeons in Morristown, New Jersey, look forward to improving your quality of life.
Education & Training
Dr. Nachwalter graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with honors and then attended medical school at the University of Pittsburgh. He then went on to complete his Orthopedic Residency at State University of New York at Stony Brook. At the State University of New York at Stony Brook he was appointed Administrative Chief Resident. He then went on to complete his fellowship in spinal surgery at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia where he was trained by world-renowned spine surgeons. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is home to the Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley, one of 16 such centers in the nation.
Dr. Nachwalter is the author of two spine book chapters in press as well as four articles in peer review journals regarding spinal surgery and several abstracts. He has presented over 40 medical presentations and poster exhibits and has participated in course faculty.
Away from his practice, he maintains ties to current research and practices through his memberships in the North American Spine Society, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, The New Jersey Orthopedic Society and the Medical Society of New Jersey. Dr. Nachwalter has also been the recipient of numerous Healing Hand Awards and ACE awards.
Currently, Dr. Richard Nachwalter is involved cutting edge spinal surgery at Morristown Medical Center, by serving as Chairman of the Spine New Technology Committee. He also serves on the Spine Steering committee and on the Orthopedic advisory committee. He has extensive experience in both surgical and nonsurgical management of spinal disorders. He utilizes minimally invasive techniques, microscopic surgical techniques, and traditional surgery as well. All conservative measures are exhausted before surgery is considered.
“Dr. Nachwalter did a wonderful job. My severe leg pain was relieved right after surgery. He explained in detail what was done during the surgery. He even called a few days later to see how I was. Staff was excellent. Lily, Debbie and Melissa. Thank you. I would highly recommend Dr. Nachwalter”
“I highly recommend Dr. Nachwalter, in fact I already have to a friend who has had issues with her back for years. He answered all my questions, did a tremendous job and understood my goals.”
“I had a laminectomy 6 weeks ago and have no more pain. The Doctor was very good at answering my questions and seeing that I was comfortable with everything that was going to happen and understood my goals. I highly recommend Dr. Nachwalter.”
“Excellent surgeon, My pain level had gone down immediately after surgery, I feel much better after having surgery.”
“I was referred to Dr. Nachwalter from a co-worker. I had cervical fusion in 2015 from another doctor, and for two years after my symptoms worsened. I had excruciating pain and my life was on hold. Dr. Nachwalter gave it back to me. Day one post-surgery I felt relief, the pain was mostly gone and I could swallow. My voice returned for the first time in 18 mos. I’m very happy with my recovery. The post-op pain was manageable with Tylenol. The office staff is really great too.”
-Grace, Healthgrades.com User
“Very much to the point. Proceeded with my issues in a timely manner. Completed what needed to be done with zero complications.”
-Chris, Healthgrades.com User
“I had a spinal fusion and laminectomy, within 2 weeks I felt amazing! This doctor knows his stuff. I would highly recommend visiting him if you are in extreme pain and no other alternatives are working.”
“I had a spinal fusion and laminectomy. Wish I got the surgery sooner. No complaints at all. I would definitely go to Dr Nachwalter for back surgery, the man knows his stuff!”
“Dr. Nachwalter is compassionate and the best back surgeon in NJ. I was hesitant about lumbar laminectomy surgery, but all conservative treatment failed. Dr. Nachwalter explained the procedure thoroughly, answered all my questions and returned my phone calls as I was anxious about the surgery. Back surgery is complicated and only a top-notch, highly skilled surgeon like Dr. Nachwalter should be your first choice. He works out of Morristown Medical Center, another important point: clean and 5 star.”
“Due to a worker’s compensation claim from a injury in a motor vehicle accident, I was referred to Dr. Nachwalter in January 2016. He was very knowledgeable and understanding about my severe lower back injury. After months of going through protocol with various tests and being in a significant amount of back pain, he had no other choice but to proceed with a spinal fusion and disc replacement in July 2016. Now, almost 3 months post op, my pain is gone. I would highly recommend Dr. Nachwalter!!”
“He takes his time to thoroughly explain all information about diagnosis, treatment and procedures, and answers all questions for both patients and family members.”
“Dr. Nachwalter is the first workman’s comp doctor that has actually treated me as a patient. Great bedside manners and informative. He has already preformed 1 surgery with excellent results.”
“After visiting another ER department (in another city) the previous week and being told nothing was wrong I knew I needed to keep persuing another doctor who would listen to me. I was able to get an appt with Dr. Nachwalter quickly and he immediately detected an issue by reading the MRI films himself and NOT relying on the radiologists diagnosis (which was very wrong). I was admitted to Morristown hospital that day and surgery the next. At all times I was able to follow the doctors’ concerns and possible issues. I was made fully aware of the risks and possibilties. I was able to feel I could trust Dr. Nachwalter very quickly as he described everything. I so appreciate how he took me seriously, didn’t tell me I was just getting old (like the ER doc and the follow up neurologist the next day, prior to seeing Dr. Nachwalter). I appreciated how HE depended on his own interpretation of the films, not someone else’s diagnosis which in my case had been misdiagnosed. I appreciated how he immediately dealt with my issue rather than saying “let’s see what happens in a week or so”. Thank you Dr. Nachwalter! You are the best and greatly appreciated!”
“I would like to start this letter by thanking each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Almost ten months ago, we sought Dr. Nachwalter’s opinion and guidance regarding our son Gabriel’s chronic pain as a result of a bilateral stress fracture at L5. He had succumbed to taking pain medication several times a day as well as sleeping with a heating pad, all while halting any kind of activity beyond walking. Cheryl and I felt as though our then -12 year-old son would never lead a normal, active life as he had prior to his injury.
But Dr. Nachwalter’s consultations, unparalleled knowledge of the anatomy (and the spine, of course), and openness to novel approaches to surgery, gave us hope for Gabriel. And on November 24, 2015, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we met Dr. Nachwalter at Morristown Memorial Hospital where, with the assistance of an incredibly professional and experienced team, he literally worked his magic…for a second time in our family.
I say second time because eleven years ago, with my wife, Cheryl, in excruciating pain as a result of two bulging herniations in a similar location to Gabriel’s fracture, Dr. Nachwalter performed a discectomy and laminectomy on her that allowed Cheryl to resume a normal life, as a doting mother of three toddlers, almost immediately. His precise and accurate hands truly gave my wife a renewed optimism on life and allowed her to focus on her children and family, as opposed to incessant pain and concern about her own wellbeing.
And so this past Thursday, May 26, 2016, Gabriel, Cheryl and I walked into the examination room at Atlantic Spine Specialists, six months and two days post-op, to hear the final verdict regarding the pars repair Dr. Nachwalter had performed on our now-thirteen year-old son. After reviewing the latest x-ray taken minutes prior, Dr. Nachwalter provided those words we and, more than anyone, Gabriel himself had been waiting to hear: that he could resume life as a normal adolescent. I will never in my life forget the smile that came across my son’s face – to which we owe Dr. Nachwalter. The surgery was a success…not that I ever doubted for a minute it would be given a surgeon with his skill and attention to every single detail performed it.
Since Thursday, Gabriel and I have gone for a run as well as a bike ride, and he has raced his younger brother Alex down the water slide at a local pool as if nothing ever happened to him and he hadn’t lived through over a year of chronic and severe pain and discomfort.
I can’t thank you enough for having given two people, who matter so much to me and have so much life to live, their lives back. I am forever more grateful than you know and forever in your debt. You all made the unnerving and lengthy experience that much more tolerable with your kindness in the office during our multiple visits and adeptness in the operating room.
Thank you very, very, very, very much for everything.
Yours in health,”
”For the first time in 10 years there was no pain in my leg.
For the last 10 years I have lived with horrible pain in my right leg caused by a broken vertebrae that pinched my nerve. I was advised by many people, family members, Chiropractor, co-workers not to have back surgery because it was too dangerous. On a more recent consultation with an Orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement he recommended I see Dr. Nachwalter at Atlantic Spine Specialists in Morristown NJ.
Dr. Nachwalter recommended several options other than surgery that would provide temporary relief before trying surgery. We evaluated all other options, and ultimately decided surgery would be the most effective option. Dr. Nachwalter walked me through the entire process from the procedure to the down time I would need to recover. At one point I had an issue with getting my insurance to approve my surgery. Dr. Nachwalter who was on vacation at the time personally called the insurance company and straightened everything out. Dr. Nachwalter the day of surgery came to see me in the holding area to make sure I was ready which was important to me as I had some anxiety about the surgery. When I woke up in recovery I had pain from the incision, but the pain in my leg was gone. I couldn’t believe it for the first time in 10 years there was no pain in my leg.
It has been 3 weeks since the surgery, and I just had my first follow up visit. Dr. Nachwalter took x-rays in his office, which was very convenient not having to go somewhere else to have that done. He showed me exactly what he did during surgery, and really helped me understand what I was looking at on the x-ray. Still to this day there is no pain in my leg (just from the surgery) and that is getting better each day.
Dr. Nachwalter gave me my life back. I can’t wait to start running like I did 10 years ago.
The staff at Atlantic spine is A+ as well. I’m a worry wart and found myself calling the office to ask questions leading up to the surgery. They never made me feel like I was a pest, and it made me feel good through the whole process.”
“I had a car accident in 2012 and, amongst other injuries, broke two vertebrae. Fortunately for me, Dr. Nachwalter was the doctor on call and did my five and a half hour surgery. I am walking and dancing again – in no small part thanks to him. He was polite and courteous – as were his staff. I would have no hesitation recommending him to others!”
“Dr. Nachwalter from the very first visit was respectful, thorough, and forthright. I came to see Dr.Nachwalter from a workers comp issue and I traveled from South Plainfield. What a pleasant surprise to have ended up at his office. His staff is always professional and flexible. I had the surgery with him at the very best and cleanest Morristown Medical Center. If you have back pain don’t suffer any longer go to his office and make the first step and see for yourself.”
“Dr. Nachwalter performed my emergency discectomy/laminectomy 11 years ago with excellent results and we returned to him for my young son who needed a complicated surgery (bilateral pars defect repair) in November. He is incredibly knowledgable, compassionate and patient. He answers any questions and concerns you may have. He went out of his way to make sure we understood the surgery for our son and the long recovery process. The results have been excellent thus far and we couldn’t be happier. We feel very fortunate to have found Dr. Nachwalter. His staff is always accommodating and helpful especially when it comes to navigating complicated insurance issues. Dr. Nachwalter is truly an outstanding surgeon.”