Michael J. Goebel, MD
Michael J. Goebel, MD

Back, Neck & Spine

Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery

Blue Ridge Region

South Asheville
Asheville - McDowell

Meet Dr. Michael J. Goebel

Dr. Michael Goebel has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of many orthopedic conditions, including subspecialty training in the area of the spine- neck and back. As part of EmergeOrtho’s Blue Ridge Region Spine Team, Dr. Goebel routinely provides patients with a comprehensive analysis of their condition and appropriately advises various treatment options.


While most patients with spinal conditions can effectively be treated without surgery, for those that fail to improve, surgical intervention may be an option for their condition. However, the surgeon must choose the right procedure for the right condition on the right patient in order to have an optimal outcome.

So what is the right procedure or the right condition? To begin with, an evaluation of a neck or back condition entails a complete history and physical exam, as well as a review of any imaging studies. It is important to correlate a patient’s symptoms with their objective findings and imaging abnormalities in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Often times, there are findings on an imaging study that do not correlate with a patient’s symptoms, and therefore are considered “incidental”. These incidental findings likely do not require any specific treatment. Delineating the exact etiology of a patient’s symptoms is the most important initial step in the treatment process. Once that diagnosis is made, various treatment options can then be entertained. These options are based upon literature supported studies, indicating statistical benefit for a specific treatment. From this, we derive the right procedure for the right condition.

Who, then, is the right patient? Many patients with neck and/or back conditions can be treated non-operatively. Suggested modalities may include such things as activity modification, medications, physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, etc. Persistent pain and neurologic symptoms that remain despite conservative treatment, and substantially interfere with one’s lifestyle, may be amenable to surgical intervention. Those individuals who fail to improve with non-operative treatment, and who demonstrate symptoms and signs consistent with abnormal findings present on imaging studies, then become the right patient.


Dr. Goebel attended the University of Notre Dame for his undergraduate studies, graduating with highest honors. He earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Iowa. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Florida and then completed an additional year of subspecialty training at the Maryland Spinal Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Program.

Dr. Goebel is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery as well as the North Carolina Medical Board. He is a member of several professional societies, including the North American Spine Society, the North Carolina Spine Society, the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, and the North Carolina Orthopedic Society.

As a board certified orthopedic surgeon who has additional subspecialty training in the area of spine- neck and back, Dr. Goebel addresses a variety of orthopedic conditions and injuries including:

*bulging/protruding/herniated/ruptured discs (worn shock absorber impinging on adjacent nerves)
*spinal stenosis (narrowing/crowding/pinching of the space for the nerves)
*cervical or lumbar radiculopathy/sciatica (radiating nerve pain down arms and/or legs)
*spondylolisthesis (spinal instability or slipped vertebrae)
*scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)
*spinal fractures (broken vertebrae)
*degenerative discs (wear of the disc/shock absorber between vertebrae)
*spondylosis (arthritis of spine)

Dr. Goebel specializes in many types of surgical procedures for the neck and back including:

*discectomies (removal of fragment of disc)
*laminectomies (removal of bone spur or thickened ligament)
*fusions (stabilizing unstable vertebrae, from the front and/or back)
*disc replacements
*vertebroplasties/kyphoplasties (bone cement augmentation of fractured vertebrae)
*nerve decompressions


In addition to his busy clinical practice, Dr. Goebel is committed to teaching. Residents from the MAHEC program have rotated through his practice for many years, learning the specifics of spinal conditions and appropriate treatment options. He has given several talks to the community on common neck and back conditions. In addition, he has guest lectured to regional sports medicine and nursing conferences in the area of spine.

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  • Undergraduate: University of Notre Dame
  • Medical School: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Internship: University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida
  • Residency: University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida
  • Fellowship: Maryland Spinal Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Program, Baltimore, Maryland


  • Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society


  • North American Spine Society
  • North Carolina Spine Society
  • American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • North Carolina Orthopedic Society
  • American Medical Association
  • North Carolina Medical Society


Book Chapters – Published

Goebel MJ, Carroll IV C, McAfee PC: Fractures and Dislocations of Cervical Spine from C3 to C7, Chapter 140, Chapman’s Orthopaedic Surgery, Third Edition, Lippincott Publishers, 2001.

Goebel MJ, McAfee PC: BAKä Interbody Fusion System: Laparoscopic Technique, BAKä Interbody Fusion System: Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (V.A.T.S.) Technique. Scoliosis Research Society Spinal Instrumentation Manual, 1998.

Goebel MJ: Orthopaedics. Mosby’s ACE the Boards, USLME Step III Comprehensive Review, Chapter 9, pp. 172-187. Joseph L. Donnely and Randolph B. Lipscher, Editors. Mosby Publishers, 1997.

Book Chapters – In Print

Goebel MJ, McAfee PC: Combined Anterior and Posterior Surgery for Traumatic Cervical Spine Instability, C3- C7. Surgical Management of Orthopaedic Trauma, Mosby Publishers, 2000.

Journal Articles – Published

Helmstedter C, Goebel M, Zlotecki R, Scarborough M: Pathologic Fractures After Surgery and Radiation for Soft Tissue Tumors. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, N389, pp. 165-172, 2001

Oda I, Cunningham BW, Buckley RA, Goebel MJ, Haggerty CJ, Orbegoso CM, McAfee PC: Does Spinal Kyphotic Deformity Influence the Biomechanical Characteristics of the Adjacent Motion Segments? An In Vivo Animal Model. Spine 1999 Oct 15;24(20):2139-46.

Christ D, Goebel M, Saz H: Actions of Acetylcholine and GABA on Spontaneous Contractions of the Filariid, Dipetalonema viteae. British Journal of Pharmacology, Chapter 101,

P. 971-977, 1990.

Cary L, Goebel M, Corsaro B, Wang H, Rosen E, Fraser M: Transposon Mutagenesis of Baculoviruses: Analysis of Trichoplusia ni Transposon IFP2 Insertions within the FP-Locus of Nuclear Polyhedrosis Viruses. Virology, Chapter 172, p. 156-169, 1989.


Helmstedter C, Goebel M, Scarborough M: Pathologic Fracture of the Femur After Radiation and Surgical Excision of Soft Tissue Sarcomas of the Thigh. 65thAnnual Meeting, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1998.

Cunningham BW, Oda I, Haggerty CJ, Sefter JC, Buckley R, Goebel M, Fedder IL, McAfee PC: An Investigational Study of Calcium Sulfate for Posterolateral Spinal Arthrodesis- An In Vivo Animal Model. 45thAnnual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, 1999.

Cunningham BW, Oda I, Haggerty CJ, Buckley R, Goebel M, Fedder IL, McAfee PC. The Use of Bioglass for Posterolateral Spinal Arthrodesis and Iliac Crest Donor Site Repair- An In Vivo Sheep Model. 45thAnnual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, 1999. Poster: 13thAnnual Meeting, North American Spine Society, 1998.

Oda I, Cunningham BW, Buckley R, Goebel M, Haggerty CJ, Fedder IL, Kaneda K, McAfee PC. Does Spinal Kyphotic Deformity Influence the Biomechanical Characteristics of the Adjacent Motion Segments?- An In Vivo Animal Model. 45thAnnual Meeting, Orthopaedic Research Society, 1999. 13thAnnual Meeting, North American Spine Society, 1998.

Drs. Mangone, Goebel and Shea honored by Asheville Catholic School

Drs. Mangone, Goebel and Shea honored by Asheville Catholic School

Blue Ridge Region

Three EmergeOrtho: Blue Ridge Region Physicians were honored by Asheville Catholic School at a ceremony at the school on March 16th, 2013.

The best spine surgeon in the area. Recommend him to any one that needs a spine surgeon.

Ray L


Dr. Goebel was extremely nice and was very upfront and to the point of the treatment options available to me. I would strongly recommend him for people who need to hear things as they are without a lot of unnecessary obstacles. Thank you so much for making my options clear to me.

Roy J


A New Level Of Orthopedic Care Has Emerged

As our patient, you will benefit from a full range of orthopedic services, specialties and technologies, including physical and hand therapy, advanced imaging services, and urgent care walk-in services providing immediate diagnosis and treatment for urgent orthopedic conditions.