Dr. L Westerlund, MD


Orthopedic Spine Surgery | Male

St. Francis Spine Center 2300 Manchester Expy Ste A006 Columbus, GA 31904 Get Directions
Dr. L Westerlund, MD
Dr. L Westerlund, MD is an orthopedic spine surgery doctor who practices in Columbus, GA. He is 49 years old and has been practicing for 22 years. Dr. Westerlund is affiliated with St. Francis Hospital.

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Dr. Westerlund's Care Philosophy

As a fellowship-trained reconstructive spine surgeon, I appreciate that every patient is unique and that every neck and back problem requires a special, thoughtful solution. Many of the patients I see do not require surgery, and these patients are evaluated then referred for non-surgical care as a first priority. For those patients that do require a surgical solution, I believe in using the least invasive operative solution possible to help patients heal quickly and achieve their very best.

Dr. Westerlund's Experience

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Visiting Dr. Westerlund

Dr. Westerlund accepts 10 insurance carriers

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Dr. Westerlund's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Westerlund to family and friends
based on 98 total reviews (32 with comments)
Dr. Westerlund's Performance
  • Trustworthiness
  • Explains condition(s) well
  • Answers Questions
  • Time well spent
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
  • Office environment
  • Staff friendliness
  • Average wait time
    10 to 15 minutes
Patient Comments (32)
in Columbus, GA |
BEST Doctor and surgeon. Great staff and always put my health first. Dr. Westerlund is always available if I needed him even after hours and on the weekend. The surgery he did on my neck gave me complete relief of my pain. His surgical team was great and caring and very knowledgable. I highly recommend him.
in Columbus, GA |
Best Dr. ever with a wonderful staff they are nice and they tend to you. I appreciate the swift but accurate staff. Your treated you like family and how they want their families treated thanks Dr. Westerlund, thanks Vicky & Misty and etc.. and anyone I missed you are wonderful.
in Columbus, Ga |
Dr. Westerlund talked to me like he knew me and my family and cared about my health now and the future. He sets the tone of caring and professionalism for the rest of the staff.
in Columbus, GA |
Dr. Westerlund and his staff are extremely courteous and professional. Every question/concern I could ever imagine was addressed in detail.From the minute I walked through the doors I was treated like I was the only patient in the building. Missy, Ivy and Dr. W(and the amazing person that signed me in-didn't get her name) actually made having a surgical procedure and follow up a pleasant experience and that is a difficult feat. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this practice to family/friends!
in Phenix City, AL |
I have been seeing Dr. Westerlund for spine and back issues. He is very good at explaining what is wrong, going through the x-rays or MRIs and leaving time to answer any questions I would have. He is a very caring and compassionate doctor that is very easy to talk to. His procedures went just as planned and I am now pain free after having a herniated disc. The office staff is always courteous and helpful. I would highly recommend him.
in Fargo, ND |
Life changing! I came to Dr.Westerlund after 6 years of pain and immobility with no answers from other drs. Dr. Westerlund is engaging, clear, concise, thorough and compassionate. I left with a diagnosis and plan which I have implemented with great success in the first couple weeks. My family can't believe the change and have already recommended Dr. Westerlund to others. We give him 10 stars!
in Phenix City, AL |
I will definitely recommend Dr. Westerlund to family and friends. He is very friendly, professional, and thorough. He worked his magic and now I am pain free. He genuinely cares for his patients. He listens and takes time to address any and all concerns before, as well as after the procedures. His office staff is always kind and courteous. The office is always neat and clean. The wait time is never long. I completely trust his decisions regarding my health care.
in Warner Robins, GA |
Dr. Westerlund is very professional and pleasant to talk to. He explained what to expect on my first visit. He has changed my life drastically in a good way. I was falling apart at a fast pace and he put me back together. Meeting him and allowing him to repair the three herniated discs and pinched nerve in my neck has been by far the best decision I have ever made. I recommend him highly to anyone who is in pain and requires surgery. Thanks Dr. Westerlund.
in Hamilton, GA |
I came to Dr. Westerlund in extreme pain in my lower back and leg after a completely unsatisfactory surgery with another neurosurgeon in Columbus. After reviewing my results, we agreed that I needed surgery, but I was leaving for Costa Rica the next day. Ivy, his wonderful P.A., suggested I try a steroid pack for pain relief. THAT suggestion allowed me to ENJOY my trip with very little or NO PAIN!! The entire staff is friendly, caring & professional. Have recommended to several friends!
Columbus, GA |
I highly recommend Dr. Westerlund! He performed an anterior/posterior lumbar fusion on me in January 2017 and i had the best care from day one! He does not perform unnecessary surgery so i felt totally at ease. Between him and his PA Ivey, they constantly checked on me. Another huge event that occurred during my recovery is that Dr. Westerlund found a tumor in my stomach that ended up being cancer. He basically saved my life and i will be forever grateful. He is a very thorough surgeon!!
in Columbus, GA |
My experience has been a little different because I don't have insurance. I was unable to get out of bed for two months and in the worst pain of my life. The team at the doctors office assisted me as much as they could via phone and once I got in to see the doctor he jump right on my situation. My surgery was successful and the whole team made me feel like my case was most important. Let me say thank you to Dr. Westerlund and his entire staff for the care and work shown to me. Thanks Misty
in Alabaster, AL |
My experience was the best! His staff is excellent esp.Vicky and Misty! Dr.W. Is thorough with his explanations of procedures,risks and outcomes! I have been very pleased with the results of the kyphoplasty performed on February 7th by Dr. Westerlund. I would recommend Dr.W. and the Spine Center to everyone with a 5 - Star rating??
in Columbus, GA |
Dr. Westerlund care about patient he explained and show the problem at hand.His staff are great too they friendly .Miss Green , whenever I had questions she very helpful. Key to operation doing as the doctor say.Thank You Dr. Westerlund & staff.
in Phenix City, AL |
Great doctor
in Opelika, AL |
The office staff is very helpful and friendly!! Dr. Westerlund is the BEST!!!. He always takes the time to answer all your questions and explain everything. He reviews all nonsurgical procedures and options for you to decide and determine if surgery is your best option. He loves his work and shows you before and after x-rays to see the improvements from the surgery. We love him and highly recommend him to everyone.
in Phenix City, AL |
My experience with Dr. Westerlund and his team was great. He explained all my options to make sure I understood and was comfortable with my decision. The results from my procedure was great! I had instant relief of pain and discomfort. The whole process was smooth. The staff in his office was friendly and helpful. The wait time for office visits was lower than expected. Thanks Dr.Westerlund and Team!
in Columbus, GA |
Dr Westerlund was extremely compassionate and knowledgeable about my condition and the surgery I needed. He offered other suggestions before having the surgery, which I appreciated and tried. His Staff is friendly and very courteous. My calls and questions were welcomed and addressed immediately. I highly recommend Dr Westerlund and the St Francis Pine Center, Columbus, GA.
in Macon, Georgia |
Approachable, honest, very capable spine surgeon. I came to Dr. Westerlund for a 2nd opinion for surgical options. I had seen two other doctors, to include one at a center that is on national TV. He introduced me to a minimally invasive surgery that provided more a permanent solution than what others were offering. He was honest about the expectations and limitations. He performed my surgery almost two years ago now, and I continue to do incredibly well. Wonderful caring office and staff!
in Columbus, GA |
My experience with Dr. Westerlund and his staff was exactly what I was looking for in an orthopedic surgeon and follow-up care. Dr. Westerlund bed side manors and patience explaining what procedure is best for my back increased after the first visit. My husband and I had total confidence that I was in the best hands possible. The office nurse Misty is very pleasant and has excellent follow-up technique which I believe makes the complete experience A-1.
in Pine Mountain, Ga |
Dr. Westerlund has an excellent personality. He was pleasant and explained things so I could understand them. His staff was helpful and pleasant also. I would recommend him!
in Columbus, GA |
I've been extremely pleased with the care I've received. When I initially came to see him, he did not push me to have surgery and was genuinely concerned that I be comfortable about the necessity. When I returned to him to discuss surgery, he was honest, straightforward encouraging. Surgery went extremely well and follow up visits have been positive and helpful. His staff has been wonderful and I have been able to call and get answers. Staff is cheerful and helpful. Would recommend him.
in Phenix City, AL |
I can't give Dr. Westerlund (and his Physician's Assistant, Ivy) enough stars. He did a very complex surgery on my neck and did it well, and I can highly recommend him. He explained my situation well, before and after my surgery, at follow up. I feel quite optimistic that a 20 year long problem is finally solved, since my pain is virtually gone! The office staff are efficient and kind.
in Columbus, GA |
No relief from lumbar fusion surgery. I would not let this man work on my dog. It has been 2 years since my surgery and I am still in quite a bit of pain daily. I ended up going to a pain management Doctor. I kept telling Dr. Westerlund that I was still in pain so he just referred me to the pain management clinic. His words were " I worked on you, so you should be fine". He has a God like complex. I don't know how he has so many 5 stars on his ratings. I would not recommend him.
in Phenix City, AL |
Dr. Westerlund and his staff are awesome. They treated me like an individual, not just another patient. Dr. W was knowledgeable and he acted quickly, gave me my treatment options, gave me his recommendation and the rest was history. Even after my insurance declined my surgery, Dr. W performed it anyway and we worked it out later. I only wish I had found him sooner.
in Thomaston Ga |
Took time to explain MRI results and options available. Staff very friendly. Great physician assistant!
in Buena Vista, GA |
I Think Dr. Westerlund was the best I could go to. THANKS
in Bainbridge, GA |
Dr. Westerlund was referred to me by another physician. His expertise resulted in my having minimally invasive spine surgery, which made my recovery process much easier. He does not hurry through office visits and answers any and all questions thoroughly. He does not push for surgery as the first alternative. I recommend Dr. Westerlund to anyone needing back surgery. He obviously stays current with state-of-the-art procedures.
in Acworth, GA |
Dr. Westerlund is an amazing physician,surgeon, and individual. He is very patient, listens well, explains well, and takes the time to answer your questions thoroughly and honestly. I am so blessed to have had another physician refer me to him. He was able to accomplish in my cervical spine what no other neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon would touch. My experience was virtually painless and my recovery for this particular surgery was two weeks max. I highly recommend him.
in Mammoth Lakes, CA |
Outstanding health provider who managed my pain successfully. I would definitely recommend him.
in San Juan Capistrano, CA |
Dr. Westerlund was concerned about my well-being. He attentively listened, diagnosed and prescribed a treatment protocol that corrected my situation. He also followed-up to ensure a positive outcome. A most positive experience...straight forward and to the point. Thank you.
in Washington, DC |
Dr. Westerlund is an extremely professional spine surgeon who takes time to listen and understand what's wrong. He is responsive and thorough and I would highly recommend him to anyone in the Columbus, Ga or ATL area.
in Smithfield, North Carolina |
Dr. Westerlund did my neck surgery several years ago and I could not recommend him more highly. I was impressed with his bedside manner, the attention he gave my concerns and questions, and his skills as a surgeon. My surgery was a success and I feel he gave me great care before surgery and during the follow up period.
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Dr. Westerlund's Care Philosophy

As a fellowship-trained reconstructive spine surgeon, I appreciate that every patient is unique and that every neck and back problem requires a special, thoughtful solution. Many of the patients I see do not require surgery, and these patients are evaluated then referred for non-surgical care as a first priority. For those patients that do require a surgical solution, I believe in using the least invasive operative solution possible to help patients heal quickly and achieve their very best.

Dr. Westerlund says...

Dr. Westerlund is dedicated to data-driven individualized patient care, using least invasive spine surgery techniques to help patients realize best possible outcomes.

Each patient and problem requires a custom crafted surgical solution to meet that one person's specific individual needs.

He trained at top U.S. institutions, to include Georgetown University in Washington D.C and the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.  He speaks and teaches other surgeons both nationally and internationally.

Dr. Westerlund maintains a busy clinical practice in Georgia focused on the surgical treatment of adult spine problems.

There are still problems to be solved in spine surgery and Dr. Westerlund works with researchers, fellow surgeon leaders, and industry to design new techniques and strategies to advance the field of spine surgery, working to help as many patients as possible to overcome spinal issues and to be their very best.

Dr. Westerlund's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:

  •  Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
  •  Specializes in Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  •  Board certified in Orthopedic Surgery
  •  No malpractice claims found
  •  No sanctions found
  •  No board actions found

Awards & Recognition

  • Awards & Honors
    • Healthgrades Honor Roll
    • George M. Kober Scholar, Georgetown University School of Medicine
    • Dean Edwin W. Pullen Anatomy Teaching Award, 1999
    What is a recognized doctor
  • Media & Publications

    Dr. Westerlund has no media or publications listed.

Background Check

  • 0
    Malpractice Claims

    No malpractice history found for Georgia.

    What is medical malpractice
  • 0

    No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

    What is a sanction or disciplinary action
  • 0
    Board Actions

    No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

    What are board actions

Board Certifications

Why It Matters: Dr. Westerlund's Board Certifications

Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the... More

  • Orthopedic Surgery

Conditions Treated

  • Arthritis of the Spine
  • Back Disorders
  • Back Pain
  • Bone Disorders
  • Broken Neck
  • Cervical Herniated Disc
  • Cervical Radiculopathy
  • Cervical Spine Disorders
  • Cervical Spine Myelopathy
  • Chronic Neck Pain
  • Coccyx or Sacrum Fracture
  • Congenital Stenosis of Cervical Medullary Canal
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Spine Disorders
  • Fracture
  • Herniated Disc
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Low Back Pain
  • Lumbar Herniated Disc
  • Lumbar Radiculopathy
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Lumbar Spine Fracture
  • Myelopathy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoarthritis of Spine
  • Pathological Spine Fracture
  • Post-Laminectomy Syndrome
  • Pseudoarthrosis
  • Radiculopathy (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Sciatica (Not Due to Disc Displacement)
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Compression Fracture
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Cord Tumor
  • Spinal Instability
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spine Deformities
  • Spine Disorders
  • Spine Fractures, Traumatic
  • Spondylitis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Thoracic Disc Disorders
  • Thoracic Spine Fracture
  • Thoracic Spine Myelopathy
  • Vertebral Column Tumors
  • Vertebral Compression Fractures


  • Medical School
    Georgetown University School Of Medicine

    Graduated in 1995

  • Internship Hospital
    University Of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Department Of General Surgery

    Completed in 1996

  • Residency Hospital
    University Of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Departement Of Orthopaedic Surgery

    Completed in 2001

  • Fellowship Hospital
    Thomas Jefferson University Medical Center and The Rothman Institute Division of Spine Surgery

    Completed in 2002

    University of Virginia Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Biomechanics fellow

    Completed in 1997

  • Undergraduate School
    The University Of Virginia

    Graduated in 1990

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Memberships &
Professional Affiliations

Dr. Westerlund does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Westerlund and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your free profile.


  • Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Orthopedic Spine Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery

Procedures Performed

  • Adult Scoliosis Correction
  • Anterior Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery With Fusion
  • Anterior Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery With Plating and Fusion
  • Anterior Cervical Microdiscectomy With Fusion
  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery (ALIF)
  • Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
  • Cervical Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Cervical Spine Reconstruction
  • Cervical Spine Surgery
  • Complex Spine Surgery
  • Endoscopic Thoracic Spine Surgery
  • Herniated Disc Surgery
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Kyphoplasty, Percutaneous
  • Lamina Procedures (incl. Laminectomy, Laminoplasty, Laminotomy)
  • Lumbar Laminectomy
  • Microsurgical Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Percutaneous Vertebroplasty
  • Posterior Cervical Laminectomy
  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery (PLIF)
  • Spinal Compression Fracture Repair
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Reconstructive Surgery for Deformities
  • Spinal Tumor Surgery
  • Spine Surgery
  • Thoracic Disc Surgery