Joseph Cheatle, MD | CNSA Physician | Neurosurgeon in Ballantyne NC | Spine Specialist in Rock Hill SC

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Joseph Cheatle, MD

Special Interests

  • Brain Tumors
  • Degenerative Spinal Disorders
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Transsphenoidal Surgery
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation


As a board-certified neurosurgeon at Carolina NeuroSurgery & Spine Associates, Joseph Cheatle, MD, provides adult neurosurgical care. His clinical special interests include treating brain tumors, degenerative spinal disorders, transsphenoidal surgery, and spinal cord stimulation.

Dr. Cheatle was a history major in college but was always interested in the life sciences and worked in a lab where he studied mRNA decay and the pathways controlling it. Near the end of his undergraduate degree, he decided to pursue a career in medicine. During a surgery rotation during his residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, he ended up in neurosurgery, where he had the opportunity to assist on a craniotomy for a subdural hematoma.

"I was able to see the brain pulsate with the beat of the heart, and that’s when I knew I wanted to be a neurosurgeon," Dr. Cheatle said. "The nervous system is by far the most complex organ system in the human body. The diagnostic workup to fully understand a patient’s problem and the solution is unsurpassed in this field. The potential for miraculous improvements in the patient's neurologic status is absolutely inspiring."

Dr. Cheatle's philosophy of care is to treat his patients like family. Dr. Cheatle said, "I would never recommend a treatment plan I would not want for himself or my family. I encourage my patients to trust the diagnostic process that supports the development of a complete treatment plan."

"Each human is unique, and a protocol to treat a patient leaves out the patients with unique problems," Dr. Cheatle said. "Trying to fully diagnose a problem and concoct a unique treatment plan for that patient improves our success rate, but can be slow to develop fully."

Dr. Cheatle finds the culture at CNSA to be one of collegiality and partnership that is unique in medicine, especially neurosurgery. The group fosters and promotes partnership in the treatment of patients, he said, and Dr. Cheatle doesn't go a day without asking a colleague for advice in difficult cases.

Dr. Cheatle believes CNSA’s comprehensive care, level of cooperation, and commitment to patient care are like no other practice in the country.

"The practice consistently places patient care over profit," Dr. Cheatle said. "The physicians in this practice continue demonstrating the commitment to patient care and quality care that we expect for our own family."

Dr. Cheatle is proud to be from Nebraska, as he spent most of his life there. Now, living in the Carolinas, he enjoys running, cycling, outdoor activities, and cheering on Nebraska sports teams. Dr. Cheatle is married and has one son, one daughter, a white golden retriever, a Bernice mountain dog, and two cats.


Residency & Internship: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Medical School: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Affiliations & Memberships

  • North American Spine Society
  • American Neuromodulation Society
  • International Brain Injury Association
  • South Carolina Medical Association
  • Society of Neuro-Oncology
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • AANS Member

Dr. Cheatle's Care Team

Jennifer Coker, MPAS, PA-C
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We Feel Your (back) Pain!

Tune in from home for an exclusive Facebook/Instagram LIVE event on Thursday, November 2nd at 4:30 p.m. EST to podcast host and physiatrist Sanjiv Lakhia, DO talk with neurosurgeon Joseph Cheatle, MD about his first-hand experience with a herniated disc.

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Episode 74 - We Feel Your Back Pain with Dr. Joe Cheatle

Episode 3: The Narrowed path, Understanding Spinal Stenosis with Joe Cheatle, MD