Dr. Charles A. Gatto

About Dr.Gatto

Dr. Charles A. Gatto is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon who specializes in all aspects of spine surgery. He has earned over 21 years of experience in treating a variety of spine conditions including degenerative spinal disorders, spine trauma, and work-related spinal injuries.
Dr. Gatto serves as a partner of The Advanced Spine Center and as Chief of Spine Surgery for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. In addition, Dr. Gatto directs an annual seminar on worker’s compensation in which he instructs other industry leaders about best practices concerning work-related injuries and their respective insurance claims.
Charles A. Gatto, MD
Charles A. Gatto, MD

Chief Spine Surgeon 

 

“Dr. Gatto is a skillful and caring surgeon. He is patient and takes his time during appointments, surgical prep, and post-surgery family discussions. I would strongly recommend Dr. Gatto.”

Educational Background & Surgical Experience

Dr. Charles A. Gatto earned his medical degree from Albany Medical College of Union University in Albany, New York. He remained at Union University to complete his internship and residency in orthopedic surgery at the world-renowned Albany Medical Center. Subsequently, Dr. Gatto applied for and accepted a rigorous fellowship detailing diseases, disorders, and surgery of the spine.
Furthermore, Dr. Gatto was appointed Chief Resident during his final year of training and served as both an Attending Surgeon for the Orthopedic Trauma Department and as a Clinical Instructor in Orthopedic Surgery.
During medical school, Dr. Gatto received the Barnett Award for Excellence in Medicine—an honor awarded to graduating senior students who embody the characteristics considered to be ideal for the practice of medicine. In addition, Dr. Gatto also earned the Clark Award for Excellence in Research for his commitment to furthering scientific study and education.

After completing his fellowship, Dr. Gatto accepted a position as Attending Surgeon and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan, NY. There, he also served as Chief of Spine Surgery for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

Upon moving his practice to New Jersey in 2001, Dr. Gatto partnered with Tri-County Orthopedics in Morristown, where he also served as the Director of the Tri-County Spine Center.

Then, in 2016, Dr. Gatto joined forces with an experienced group of orthopedic surgeons to create The Advanced Spine Center. A multi-specialty collaborative of board-certified spine professionals, The Advanced Spine Center delivers world-class, cutting-edge, and minimally invasive solutions for both routine and complex conditions of the spine.
Dr. Gatto serves as a partner of The Advanced Spine Center and as Chief of Spine Surgery for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. In addition, Dr. Gatto directs an annual seminar on worker’s compensation in which he instructs other industry leaders about best practices concerning work-related injuries and their respective insurance claims.

Educational Background & Surgical Experience

Dr. Gatto earned his medical degree from Albany Medical College and completed his internship, residency, and spine surgery fellowship at Albany Medical Center. He has served as Chief Resident, Attending Surgeon, and Clinical Assistant Professor, receiving awards for excellence in medicine and research during his education. Dr. Gatto has been a Chief of Spine Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center and later joined Tri-County Orthopedics before co-founding The Advanced Spine Center in 2016. He is currently a partner at The Advanced Spine Center and serves as Chief of Spine Surgery at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, with expertise in both routine and complex spine conditions.

Areas of Surgical Expertise & Industry Awards

Throughout his 21-year career, Dr. Gatto has acquired comprehensive training in every facet of spine surgery. His expertise extends beyond treating degenerative spine conditions, work-related and sports injuries, and spinal trauma; he is also a proponent of the advancement and implementation of minimally invasive techniques. Dr. Gatto employs a conservative treatment strategy for spinal conditions, prioritizing accurate diagnosis and exploring all relevant, evidence-based non-surgical options before contemplating surgical intervention.

Patient Testimonials

Donald Slade
Donald Slade
2023-10-20
Dr. Gatto addressed what could have been paralysis and significant pain in my left arm running down from my neck which would affect the rest of my life. This is life changing. Approximately 10-12 weeks prior to surgery I started have numb feelings and severe discomfort down my left arm originating in my neck. This quickly became catastrophic as 90% of the strength, coordination, and feeling in the arm was lost. Dr. Gatto quickly and accurately assessed the situation, ordered the right testing, and performed a long and complicated procedure. He also had to manage me, which is not easy as I am not a great patient. But he inspires an unusual high level of confidence which made it easy to do what had to be done., I am currently still in the hospital on Day 2, post-surgical, and the numb sensation is decreasing significantly, and the strength and coordination are returning quickly. As said above, this is life changing. I'm a 65 year old man and competitive sport is an important part of my life. After working with D. Gatto, I can once again can look forward to a high quality and active life. I don't post recommendations as a rule, but this was extraordinary. And that is the highest level recommendation I can give. Dr. Gatto has earned it!
Dan Mede
Dan Mede
2023-10-04
Circa late 2,000’s I was told by two out of three surgeons that I need to have my spines fused together…. Dr. Gatto was the only one emphasized that I do not need such surgery, rather a physical therapy only, however, to minimize the inflammation he recommended I get spinal injection of anti-inflammation corticosteroid (if I recall correctly), I did what he recommended and post physical therapy, when I was able to, I used inversion table, I was able to walk and later even jug.. I advertise his name to many of my employees, family and friends that we need more doctors like him and why they should see him. Although he is an incredibly bright man, a graduate from a fantastic university, I appreciate doctors like him because he is not motivated by greed, sadly most surgeons have become. He is truly and genuinely into patient care, as doctors should be, he makes decisions that are in best interests of his patients. Such surgeons are rare and deserves absolute respect and publicity to pressure the industry to train surgeons to follow his role model. Sincerely Dr. Hudan D Safarpour “Mede”
T. Biondi
T. Biondi
2023-06-06
After a boating accident I had a broken L1 and went Morristown memorial ICU. Dr. Gatto was the on-call surgeon and after reviewing my X-rays & MRI he felt surgery was very necessary but also wanted to review with his partner, Dr. Naseef, who would be performing surgery w him. Since this was an emergency surgery I was not able to choose my surgeon and was concerned since I had no experience with Dr. Gatto or Naseef. I asked a long time nurse working on the spine floor about Dr. Gatto and her response was if she needed spine surgery, Dr. Gatto would be her first choice. Dr. Gatto was very kind & empathetic while sitting by my bedside & explaining surgery in detail. He patiently answered all of my questions, which were many. I wanted to learn all I could about the surgery so he gave me specific information to google. After surgery, Dr. Gatto explained his surgery in detail. At every check-up appt he has been very attentive & taken the time necessary. I have had no back issues since!
Martin Hogan
Martin Hogan
2023-06-06
I had been struggling with the gradual decline of my low back and the increasing associated symptoms. The Advanced Spine Center was recommended to my by a few colleagues whom each had extremely positive outcomes. I called on a Weds. to see about an appointment which was scheduled for 3 weeks away. An hour later, the scheduler called to see if I could come in sooner, due to the nerve involvement I was experiencing. That rescheduled appointment was set for 2 days later with Dr. Gatto. Once there, I was seen promptly by Dr. Gatto. He was warm, compassionate and interested in hearing my personal experience with the low back pain and associated symptoms. Although I had been treated with an Epidural at a different Orthopedic group, Dr. Gatto read the imagining with a keener understanding and saw a more complicated and concerning issue(s). He was not rushed and spent 90 mins with me combing over the x-ray's and MRI's. (He even meet with my wife and I on the following Monday to explain his findings with imaging to ensure her comfort with the care plan.) My surgical experience was on par with the highest of standards. Upon regaining awareness post surgery, I could feel the symptomatic discomfort I had been experiencing had dissipated. My hospitalization, treatment and recovery followed suit with the high standards one can hope for. I was followed every day with personal visits from the Spine Center Team. They too were quite personable, compassionate, inquisitive of how I felt, if I needed anything and answered all my questions. It was more than obvious to me that the Spine Center Team and the nursing unit I was assigned to have a tremendous synergy. The confidence, and competence of the entire Spine Center Team, Nurses, Patient Care Techs, Physical Therapists and Environmental Services all enhance the level of sophisticated care they collectively provide. From my initial call, to completion of surgery was one week. I could not ask for more prompt service. As you can probably surmise by now, I had an excellent experience and outcome. I am grateful to Dr. Gatto for the return of my health.
Stephen brody
Stephen brody
2023-05-27
Over the last six months I suffered with severe spinal stenosis. Basically, I couldn’t walk ten steps without upper body being completely horizontal. I interviewed a cadre of spine doctors which gave me the same diagnosis. Which was severe spinal stenosis and DDD of L3. Some doctors wanted to do minimally invasive surgery which in theory sounds great but I believe it was only going to be a short term fix. When I went to see Dr. GATTO he explained that its wasn’t going to be a quick fix and I needed this and that, basically straight forward and honest, take it or leave it. Fast forward, I had the surgery fusing L3 to L4along with spacer to allow space for the bundle of nerves that were being squeezed, along with something to do with S1. Dr.Gatto team were organized and completely professional. The operation was a complete success and I can be more grateful to Dr gatto and his team. Btw- on my journey to get pre surgicyapproval some many people knew doctor Gatto and reassured me I was in good hands.
Tecia Bulle
Tecia Bulle
2023-05-09
I had an appointment with Dr. Gatto for a second opinion for lumbar fusion surgery. I didn't have to wait long to be seen. I met with Dr. Lohman (Physician assistant) first. Very friendly and listened to all of my concerns. She pulled up my MRI's and thoroughly reviewed them with me. I then met with Dr. Gatto, very pleasant and knowledgeable. He also went over my MRI and stated, that surgery wasn't required at the present time. That there are other options. After being told by another physician that surgery was the only option. I appreciate Dr. Gatto and Dr. Lohman for their honesty. Not just telling me it's not needed,but explaining why.
Marcy Rattay
Marcy Rattay
2023-04-21
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Gatto for the amazing job he did operating on me . For three months I was not able to walk properly where I had a mass on my spinal cord I went through the correct procedures and needed an operation where I had a mass on my spinal cord along with bone spurs . He removed both and I was up and walking the next day . I highly recommend Dr Gatto and his team . He is simply the best I thank him with all my heart i also want to thank his entire team . You need a spine Dr call him Thank you for being the Dr you are! Marcy Sue Rattay .
Dave W
Dave W
2023-04-02
A few years ago I was at a point where I could barely walk, but thanks to the good people at The Advanced Spine Center it took just a few days to get me back on my feet. A laminectomy & discectomy resolved the problem, and today I’m back to doing many of the things I love to do. Thank you Dr Gatto and all the good people who make up your team.
Dwanna Jones
Dwanna Jones
2023-03-29
I was dealing with lower back issues (L4/L5) for about 8 years. I tried injections and physical therapy, which helped for a while. I was recently referred to Dr. Gatto by my physical therapist. After meeting him for my consultation, I knew that he was the doctor that I wanted to perform my back surgery. I set up a follow-up appointment so my husband could meet him as well and discuss my plan of action. My husband knew immediately that he was the one. Dr. Gatto is very thorough, patient, kind, experienced, and truthful. I had my surgery on March 18th and was up walking the next day in the hospital. No more pain in my legs or numbness in my toes. He is an extraordinary surgeon who I will be referring friends and family to. So grateful that I chose him. His staff is confident, friendly and just as pleasant as he is. His expert care has changed my life for the better. I feel like a new person.
Bill M
Bill M
2022-10-07
Updated: Oct 2021 fusion Dr. Gatto has been treating my back issues since 2006. I had a cervical fusion in 2011 with no further issues. I had a successful fusion at L5S1 in 2016 which healed in 3 months and I had a second fusion at L4L5 which was not unexpected, in October 2021. That disk space was fused in a little under 3 months and I was able to resume full physical fitness activity after 3 months. I am very active and keep my physical conditioning at a high level. Ive resumed my 6 days per week workout (weights and cardio) regimen. Im very pleased with Dr Gatto and his staff. They are very accommodating, polite, efficient and I wouldn't consider any other surgeon for my spinal issues. Prior surgery 2016 “Had a severely degenerated L5S1 that was pretty much bone on bone and causing chronic pain. I had been monitoring it for some time with Dr Gatto and was under no pressure to have it surgically remediated, although I knew it was inevitable. Finally in September of 2016 I decided to have a fusion of the L5S1 level to stabilize the spine and decrease pain. I made sure to have enough recovery time post surgery and followed Dr Gatto's post surgical instructions to the letter. The first week was tough, as I expected it would be, but got markedly better daily as did my mobility. I believe I actually regained some lost height as the collapsed disk space had its height restored. I was able to drive after 2 weeks and I returned to the office in just under a month, although I wore a brace as instructed. By January 2017, at just around 3 months, I had a solid fusion and by the end of January I was able to resume physical fitness training at my gym. Now at age 50, I am as strong and physically fit as I've ever been. I periodically have some stiffness and pain but nothing like prior to the surgery and I believe that the nerves and muscles are still healing and regenerating and slowly but surely everything will resolve itself. I have also had a successful fusion in my cervical spine C5C6 by Dr Gatto in 2011 and I healed quickly and fully. I have no reservations recommending and referring others to Dr. Gatto and I will work with he and his staff again if needed

Ready to Meet Dr. Gatto?

This is a staging environment

Areas of Surgical Expertise & Industry Awards

Dr. Gatto has earned extensive training in all aspects of spine surgery during his 21-year career. Not only does Dr. Gatto treat degenerative spine disorders, work-related and sports injuries, and spine trauma, but he also supports the advancement and implementation of minimally invasive techniques. He adopts a conservative approach to treating spinal issues, ensuring proper diagnosis and examining any relevant, evidence-based, and non-surgical treatments before even considering surgery.


Dr. Gatto’s dedication to his patients and the field of medicine has earned him many titles. For every year since 2006, the Consumers Research Council has named him one of America’s Top Physicians in spine surgery. In addition, New Jersey Monthly Magazine named Dr. Gatto one of New Jersey’s “Top Docs” of 2015. He also was awarded the “New Jersey’s Favorite Kids’ Doc” honor from New Jersey Family magazine.

Moreover, Dr. Gatto is also a co-founder, past president, and current board member of Kids’ Chance of New Jersey, Inc. This charitable organization provides scholarships for both collegiate and vocational education to children of New Jersey workers who have been killed or critically injured on the job. Likewise, Dr. Gatto also leads an annual conference on worker’s compensation in which he instructs other industry leaders in his field about best practices for maximizing patient outcomes.

In his free time, Dr. Gatto enjoys spending time with his family. He also loves sports—especially hockey—and training for triathlon sprints.