About VSI

Virginia Spine Institute is now VSI

Our Brand Story

Virginia Spine Institute is now VSI. 

After three decades of caring for over 100,000 patients, we have revitalized our brand to serve the evolving needs of our patients. While our name and visual identity have changed, we have retained our valuable heritage and reputation for returning patients to their lives. 

Since our inception, we have strategically expanded to an interdisciplinary team of the top spine specialists in the world. We are proud to have earned international recognition through our surgical firsts, nonsurgical breakthroughs, life-changing research, and five-star patient outcomes. And most importantly, the impact of our work has improved the lives of patients from all 50 states and over 32 countries.

VSI remains steadfast in its mission to redefine spine care and wellness. Our revitalized brand is a testament to our enduring commitment to medical excellence, compassionate patient care, and creating an unparalleled healthcare experience. 

Our model is effective, and our philosophy is unique.

What makes our treatment philosophy unique is that we always strive to avoid surgery. 90% of our patients get better without surgery. This sets VSI apart from other spine centers and hospital systems, which often jump first to surgery. To support each patient’s healing plan, we offer nonsurgical regenerative medicine, neurology, and spine-specialized physical therapy – conveniently all located under one roof.

And we’re independent which means we can provide the customized white glove care and service our patients desire – and deserve. We collaborate with each of our patients and develop an individualized treatment plan to meet their unique needs. This meticulous service extends through our patient’s entire relationship with us – from the very first phone call to the very last follow-up.

We’re honored you’re joining us for the next chapter of our story—one marked by patient victories, innovation, compassion, and dedication to improving lives. Welcome to the new era of VSI!

The Ultimate Choice for Ultimate Spine Solutions

vsi victory mark blue (1)

Our Victory Mark

The centerpiece of our new identity is our bold new logo, which we have named our ‘Victory Mark’. Derived from the letter “V”, this mark is both a nod to Virginia, where we were founded – but also a reminder as to why we are here – to create Victories for our patients.

The Victory Mark is a constant reminder of these everyday triumphs, reinforcing our commitment to those we serve and the purpose behind our efforts – restoring our patients’ lives.

Our Doctors Are

The Difference

Patient experience isn’t a buzzword for us – it’s the guiding principle that informs every aspect of our practice. In today’s fast-paced healthcare landscape, where appointments can often feel rushed and impersonal, we recognize that genuine healing starts with feeling truly heard and understood. As trusted leaders in spine care, our doctors are not committed to one specific treatment, they are committed to doing what is right for each patient. The award-winning Top Doctors at VSI will serve as advocates and partners in your journey to Victory over back and neck pain.

team photo sept 2023

Our History

Our inception traces back to 1992 when Dr. Thomas Schuler, a visionary orthopedic spine surgeon, recognized a gap in spine care and thus a pressing need for refined, patient-centered spine care. Virginia Spine Institute was founded to provide spine solutions that could not be found elsewhere. The vision was to create the ultimate spine center, out of necessity. In an era where such patient-centric care was virtually unheard of, our humble beginnings burgeoned into a beacon of innovation and excellence in spine care. Today, we proudly stand as an independent leader in the field, committed to delivering convenience of specialized care, in a personalized model.


tcs founding father

Virginia Spine Institute is Founded

In 1992 Dr. Thomas Schuler, the region’s first fellowship-trained spine surgeon, founded the practice as Northern Virginia Spine Institute. He brought a unique vision of comprehensive spine care to the Washington DC region that is still a tenet of our practice today.


Expanded to Include In-House Spine Specialized Physical Therapy

Understanding the importance of non-surgical spine care, we selected the highest skilled physical therapists to work hand-in-hand with our physicians. This entity was named Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center and was co-located with Virginia Spine Institute.


Broadened Our Area of Expertise

With the addition of physical therapy and non-operative specialists, our practice expanded to treat other areas of the body. While our primary focus is still the spine, we are proud to treat other joints and conditions, providing our patients a “one-stop-shop” for many orthopedic needs


Performed First Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery in the Washington DC Metro Region

Providing innovative, motion-preserving options has always been a founding principle for us and we proudly were the first to bring cervical artificial disc replacement to the Washington DC Metro region. This groundbreaking surgery allowed us to provide more customized treatment options to our patients and help preserve motion in their spine.


Transitioned to be Independent

After 16 years of battling insurance companies, we chose to go out-of-network with commercial insurance. This choice was rooted in doing what is right for our patients. We refuse to let insurance carriers dictate a course of action – that decision should always be between the patient and doctor. Being independent means we can provide each patient the time, attention, and care they deserve.


Named a National Center of Excellence

Based on our level of patient care and advocacy, we were named a Center of Excellence by the National Spine Health Foundation, a national non-profit that focuses on improving spinal healthcare and empowering patients with knowledge and hope.


Began Offering Natural Healing Options

We continued to push boundaries and began offering regenerative medicine solutions (Stem Cell Therapy and PRP) – this allowed us to provide natural non-surgical options to patients for spine and orthopedic conditions. These outpatient procedures were offered in the comfort of our state-of-the-art facility and patients would go home the same day.


Groundbreaking Surgical Customization

Our options for care continued to grow in 2012 when we performed the Nation’s first combined multi-level cervical hybrid surgery. In this advanced hybrid approach, we used both an artificial disc replacement at one level and a fusion at another level, making this the most customized surgery of its kind.


virginia spine institute lobby

New State-of-the-Art Facility

We expanded into our brand new state-of-the-art facility in the International Tower at Reston Heights. This provided us with more space and the continuity to provide comprehensive care under one roof. while providing our patients with a convenient and comfortable environment to focus on recovery.


Established National Surgery Recovery Protocols

Our care for patients extends beyond the operating room. For this reason, we have spearheaded national research studies that led to the launching of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) national protocols in 2018. The impact directly led to improved patient outcomes and reduced post-surgical opioid use.



New Era of VSI

Virginia Spine Institute is now VSI. After three decades of treating over 100,000 patients, we have revitalized our brand for continued growth and expansion. While our name and visual identity have changed, we have retained our valuable heritage and reputation for getting patients back to their lives. We’re committed to providing excellence, compassion and unparalleled healthcare to our patients. Welcome to the new era of VSI!

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