E. Lee Nelson, MD


Dedicated to Continuous Improvement, Leading-Edge Capabilities and the Most Innovative Care

“Neurosurgery was the obvious choice for me. My early goals included meeting people during critical times to help them directly face the challenges illnesses pose with hope and strength. Now I’m realizing this goal. Patients come to Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates (BNA) for solutions to their most difficult problems that include pain secondary to degenerative changes in the spine to life-threatening intracranial diseases.

“Patients need a neurosurgeon that is both competent and compassionate. These attributes motivate us as physicians and surgeons to strive to improve our skills and develop innovative nonsurgical and surgical treatments. Minimally invasive spine surgery is an example of advanced care that offers patients many benefits, such as less time in the hospital and a quicker recovery time.

“Each day I renew my commitment to excellence, continuous improvement, and the people who have entrusted me with their care.”


Dr. Nelson received his Medical Degree with Alpha Omega Alpha honors from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. He completed an internship in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery and neurological surgery residency under the tutelage of Robert Grossman, MD; a program that emphasized development of technical skills in the operating room. At the time, Baylor’s program was renowned for an unequaled surgical case load exceeding 5,000 neurological procedures each year at the largest medical center in the United States.

During his residency, Dr. Nelson received the esteemed Kinjiro Iwata Award for outstanding contributions to Baylor’s Neurosurgical Department. At the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, Dr. Nelson expanded his skill and experience in complex spinal instrumentation under Ziya Gokaslan, MD. Dr. Nelson’s areas of clinical interest continue to include neurosurgical oncology, including tumors of the pituitary gland, and complex spinal surgery with an emphasis on minimally invasive techniques.

Board-Certified Spine and Brain Surgeon

Each day I renew my commitment to excellence, continuous improvement, and the people who have entrusted me with their care. Dr. Nelson is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS) and has been a part of Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates (BNA) since 2004. He also serves as the Medical Director of the Operating Room at Boulder Community Hospital. His first priority is the care of his patients and he brings a standard of unsurpassed excellence combined with compassionate care, which is not seen enough in today’s medical environment.

Honors and Accomplishments

Like all BNA physicians, Dr. Nelson is dedicated to advancing medicine on multiple fronts. Beyond his core medical practice, Dr. Nelson serves as a consultant to a multinational company that develops surgical navigation systems for both brain and spine surgery. He was instrumental in bringing ultramodern intraoperative imaging systems to Colorado, including the O-ARM and the PoleStar N-20 Intraoperative MRI. As a result, BNA was the first in Colorado to use such technologies and the second surgical group in the United States to introduce them to the operating room. Dr. Nelson also serves as a consultant for a neuromodulation company and believes this technology can be an important part of providing comprehensive care to patients with problems of the spine.

Dr. Nelson is a member of American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), North American Spine Society (NASS), Colorado Neurosurgical Society, Colorado Medical Society (CMS), AANS/CNS Section on Tumors and Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves.

Personal Life

Dr. Nelson moved to Colorado to enjoy the outdoors. His hobbies include skiing, hiking and adventure motorcycling. He resides with his wife, Debbie, and their three children in Boulder County.

Nelson CV 2018