Mr Michael J H McCarthy

Consultant Spinal Surgeon

BMedSci BMBS (Hons) MSc (OrthEng) FRCS (Tr&Orth)


Specialises in

I am a Consultant Spinal Surgeon at Spire Cardiff Hospital with a background in trauma and orthopaedics. I perform spinal interventions from the simplest minimally invasive surgery through to highly complex procedures, but, in the majority of cases, I manage spinal conditions with a range of non-surgical measures.

Although I have been fully trained in Trauma and Orthopaedics I now work purely as a spinal surgeon. I perform over 120 spinal operations and over 200 spinal injections every year. I have also performed over 200 anterior cervical discectomy and fusions, over 400 lumbar decompression / discectomies, over 200 lumbar fusion +/- decompressions, over 200 spinal deformity operations and over 200 emergency procedures for trauma, infection and tumour.

At the University of Nottingham, I graduated with a first class honours degree in medicine in 1999. As part of my undergraduate degree I spent time at the Cook County Trauma Unit in Chicago, where they filmed the television series ER. This provided me with experience and a greater understanding of complex severe trauma management.

Upon completion of my undergraduate studies, I embarked on my career in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery by firstly accomplishing three and a half years of basic surgical training in Nottingham, where I carefully selected the surgical specialities that would best assist me in developing the necessary surgical skills as a future spinal surgeon. These included six-month rotations working in Accident and Emergency, General Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Neurosurgery and Plastic Surgery.

By excelling in my Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons examinations, I was awarded the opportunity to undertake a one year research fellowship in spinal surgery at the world renowned Centre for Spinal Surgery at the Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham. My research from this year has been presented both nationally and internationally and has been published in International Medical Journals.

My higher surgical training in Trauma and Orthopaedics was based in the South West Peninsula Deanery on the Specialist Registrar Training rotation. This enabled me to train under the skilful experienced hands of several world-renowned spinal surgeons including a year at the internationally recognised AO Spine Centre in Brisbane, Australia.

I commenced as a full time Spinal Consultant at University Hospital of Wales and University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff in 2012. My NHS practices is based at the University Hospital of Wales and to date I have performed over 4,000 spinal procedures.

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Treatment information

Some of the principal treatments carried out by Mr Michael J H McCarthy at Spire include:

Orthopaedics - spine

Other treatments

  • All aspects of spinal surgery
  • Scoliosis surgery (adult and paediatric)
  • Minimally invasive spinal surgery (XLIF and TLIF)
  • Spinal trauma/infection/tumour work
  • Treatment for neck, back, arm and leg pain
  • Sciatica
  • Stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis 
  • Spinal deformity

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Important information about Covid-19 tests

Spire Cardiff Hospital is only able to provide Covid-19 tests to patients undergoing surgery at our hospital. Covid-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service.

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Additional information

Back pain
Degenerative spine
Lumbar spine disorders
Neck pain
Pain management
Spinal surgery

BMedSci / Nottingham University / 1997
Bachelor of Medical Sciences Degree in the First Class

BMBS(Hons) / Nottingham University / 1999
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery Degree with Honors

MSc (OrthEng) / Cardiff University / 2008
Master of Science in Orthopaedic Engineering Degree with Distinction

FRCS(Tr&Orth) / Cardiff University / 2009
Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (Trauma and Orthopaedics)


Professional memberships

British Association of Spinal Surgeons

British Orthopaedic Association

British Medical Association

AO Spine

European Spine Society

General Medical Council

I am published in the following journals: Journal of Neurocytology, Skeletal Radiology, Spine, European Spine Journal, Evidence Based Spine Journal, Global Spine Journal, The Spine Journal, Annals of The Royal College of Surgeons of England, Bone Joint Journal, EFORT Open Reviews Spine, British Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, The Journal of Arthroplasty, Archives of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery, European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Hip International.

I have written chapters in the following books: Introduction to Spine Surgery, Map of Medicine and Oxford Desk Reference Major Trauma.

I have presented at regional, national and international forums including: British Association of Spinal Surgeons, British Orthopaedic Association, British Scoliosis Society, British Trauma Society, Britspine, European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Eurospine, Society of Low Back Pain Research, South Wales Cancer Network, South West Orthopaedic Club, South West Spine Club, Spine Society of Australia, Trauma Care Conference. I was invited to give a presentation to the President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England entitled “Trainee or Trainer – What Makes a Good Surgeon?”.

Consultant Spinal Surgeon, University Hospital of Wales
Honorary Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University

I am a devoted family man with two young sons who keep me very busy outside of work. I enjoy swimming, gardening, photography and listening to a wide range of music in my spare time. I am a Team Manager for the City of Cardiff Swimming Club.

I have an ad hoc Educational Contract with Globus Medical a Spinal Company.
Telephone 029 2073 5515
Website http://www.spinedragon.com/
Private secretary Mrs Nichola Harford
Private secretary email nicholaharford@spinedragon.com