Frederick B. Harris, MD, MS, FAANS, is a Board Certified Neurosurgeon with 18 years of experience in treating patients with both spine and brain pathologies. Dr. Harris previously had a career as an Engineer at NASA and the Department of Defense and changed careers to pursue his dream of becoming a Neurosurgeon. His special areas of interest include complex cervical, thoracic and lumbar surgery, adult spinal deformity/scoliosis treatment, revision surgery of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, minimally invasive spinal surgery for herniated disk and lumbar fusions, spinal tumors both inside and outside the spinal cord and spinal canal, brain tumors, adult Chiari malformations, traumatic brain injury and sports related brain injury.
Dr. Harris believes in carefully listening to and understanding the concerns, symptoms and fears of each patient, while clearly explaining their neurological condition and plan of treatment to their satisfaction. He would like each patient and their family members to leave his office with the comfort and understanding of their next phase of care with all questions answered.
Neurosurgery, including Brain Tumors, Adult Chiari Malformations, Traumatic Brain Injury and Sports Related Brain Injury
Spine and Neck Care, including Decompression of Cervical Stenosis and Herniated Disk (Anterior and Posterior Approaches), Artificial Cervical Disk Replacement, Complex Cervical Surgery including Cervical Fusions, Cervical Fractures, Chin on Chest Syndrome and Cervical Revision Surgery
Lumbar Surgery, including Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery for Herniated Disk and Lumbar Fusions, Resection of Synovial Cyst, Revision Surgery of Failed Back Surgical Syndrome, Open Anterior and Posterior Lumbar Fusions, Surgery for All Grades of Spondylolisthesis and Treatment of Fractures of the Lumbar and Thoracic Spine
Spinal Tumors/Oncology, including Tumors of the Spine and Spinal Cord both Primary and Metastatic
Spinal Deformity, including Correction of Scoliosis and Kyphoscoliosis, Failed Back Surgical Syndrome, Flat Back Syndrome and High Grade Spondylolisthesis
Board Certified, American Board of Neurological Surgery
University of Tennessee-Memphis Health Science Center, Department of Neurological Surgery, Memphis, Tennessee
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Southern University and A&M College, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Hospital & Surgery Center Affiliations
Crosstown Surgery Center
Eagan Orthopedic Surgery Center
Minnesota Valley Surgery Center
North Memorial Hospital
American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Active Member
Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Active Member
North American Spine Society, Member
Achievements & Awards
Fairview Health Foundation Champion of Care award (2015)
Top Doctor award Duluth-Superior News Tribune (2010)
Richard L. Desaussure Jr. MD Excellence in Neurosurgery Award (2007)
National Medical Fellowships, Inc. NMF Scholar (1998 and 1999)
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard U./Merck, Summer Research Trainee Program (1998)
Samuel J. Roessler Research Fellowship, The Ohio State University College of Medicine (1998)
National Medical Fellowships, Inc. NMF Scholar (1997)
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Research Fellowship, U. of Texas SWMC at Dallas (1994)
The State of Texas Graduate Research Assistantship, U. of Texas SWMC at Dallas (1994)
Southern University Chancellor’s Scholarship
Southern University Engineering Scholarship
Dean’s List, College of Engineering, Southern University
Staff Neurosurgeon, Fairview Southdale and Ridges Spine and Brain Clinic, Edina, Burnsville and Fridley, MN (2014 – 2019)
Staff Neurosurgeon, Section of Neurosurgery, Essentia Health East, Duluth, MN (2007 – 2014)
Dr. Harris and his team truly changed my life! Numbness and pain in my arms and hands along with continuous back pain had greatly reduced my abilities to do anything. Walking was very difficult and being able to do normal things was impossible. They evaluated my situation and Dr. Harris fully explained his plan to correct my spinal issues. I had previous back surgeries along with fusion and knew the painful process and recovery. Following 2 long surgery procedures my recovery was much less painful then my previous experience and I feel that I have gotten my life back! I can walk without pain, no longer have pain or numbness in my arms or hands and am slowly getting back to things I have not done for years. I am truly grateful to Dr. Harris and his staff for their fine work and kindness.
May 26, 2020
Dr. Harris performed spine surgery on me to alleviate a compressed L4-L5 vertebrae. I would have the surgery done again in a heartbeat. I am now able to walk, swim and move about in a more normal way. His surgical skill is remarkable and his personal care with his patients, his surgical team and the nurses is widely appreciated. Thanks to his listening skills and his ability to interpret, the procedure it was comforting to have him as my surgeon.
October 29, 2019
Dr. Harris is a miracle worker. I had severe back pain for at least 2 years, but was kind of leery about who to go to for this back pain. My primary doctor, Dr. Jason Nowak of Fairview, suggested Dr. Harris. When viewing the MRI, Dr. Harris looked at me and said “I can fix this”. I pondered for a month and checked other doctor’s bios. When I read Dr. Harris’ bio, I was amazed. I went with him and I’m glad I did. He explained the procedure, recovery time and 3-day hospital stay. He even came to check up on Mother’s Day. If you’re suffering from spinal pain or some other nerve pain, I would recommend Dr. Harris in a heartbeat.
April 12, 2019
In September of 2017, I had come to the end of my proverbial rope. After a fall in 1978 of approximately 30 feet, I had some 14 major back and neck surgeries and was now in so much pain I was ready to give up. Seven years earlier the head of Neurosurgery at a very prominent hospital told me when I came for a much anticipated appointment, “if anyone ever tells you they can help you they’re pulling your leg”. I left devastated, in tears and did not really know how much longer or how much worse things could get.
Things indeed did get worse and over the next seven years my 6 foot 6 inch frame folded over too about 5’7”. The pain was completely over the top when I decided I had two choices; one very final, the other was search for a surgeon capable and willing to save my life. I started searching for Twin Cities Neurosurgeons and actually read the bio’s when I stumbled on Dr. Harris. In bold type he stated that he specialized in brain and complex spinal surgery. I had no choice but to see if he was serious, my appointment was made.
His staff treated me with a great deal of respect and seemed to streamline the process because the next thing I knew I was standing in front of Dr. Harris being told that he could help me! He warned me that it would be the worst thing I had ever been through and I kind-of chuckled because I had been through staph infections of the spine, multiple 3+ level fusions, I didn’t think I had anything to lose.
The 13 hour surgery was all that Dr. Harris promised. He removed a four level bad fusion done in 1988 and then went on to fuse virtually everything but the kitchen sink. I was up and walking the first day after surgery with huge grin on my face as I again stood 6ft 5in tall. In May of 2018, seven months after surgery I played golf for the first time in ten years without any increased pain. Yes my swing was really ugly but it didn’t matter, it was fantastic. The improvement in my quality of life cannot be understated, you need to be patient and persistent and understand you have a very long road ahead and the possibility of a much better outlook for tomorrow.
The recovery took a little over a year but Dr. Harris most definitely saved my life on October the 19th, 2017.