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About Dr. Howard B. Cotler

Howard B. Cotler, MD, FACS, FAAOS is board certified and recertified in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

He received his medical degree in 1979 from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. In 1980, Dr. Cotler completed his surgical internship at Grady Memorial Hospital/Emory University in Atlanta. In 1984, he completed his Orthopedic residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Howard Cotler M.D.

Watch the video to hear more about how this Pennsylvania native found his way to a successful practice in Houston.

Dr. Cotler subsequently pursued advanced training in spine through two fellowships: one in acute spinal cord injury surgery with Northwestern University in Chicago in 1984 and another in Orthopedic Traumatology from Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington in Seattle in 1985.

From 1985 to 1990, Dr. Cotler had both a clinical practice and an academic appointment at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. In 1990, he became a founding partner and medical director for the Texas Back Institute of Houston. He was clinical associate professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. In 1995 Dr. Cotler founded Gulf Coast Spine Care Limited PA.

Dr. Cotler accepts a wide range of insurances, works with most workers’ compensation plans and also accepts medicare.

Summary of Achievements

Howard Cotler M.D.


  • Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University


  • Internship:Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University Surgery
  • Residency:Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Orthopedic Residency
  • Fellowships: Northwestern University – Acute Spinal Cord Injury Surgery,
    Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington – Orthopedic Traumatology Fellowship
What Condition is the Source of my
Back or Neck Pain?

Do you experience chronic pain, and wonder what condition may be its source? Gulf Coast Spine Center offers it's free online Pain Mapping Tool to help you better understand the underlying cause of your back pain.

Our tool will give you access to a definitive diagnosis from a world renowned spine surgeon with over 20 years experience. You will also be able to explore your various treatment options.

What treatment does GCSC recommend for my
Back or Neck Pain?

Conditions of the spine can be attributed to a variety of factors. Their symptoms can also present in many, sometimes common ways. It is essential that our medical experts review your history and pain in order to accurately provide you with an honest evaluation of your treatment options. In order to get this information GCSC offers a completely free online tool to securely provide the information our surgeons need.

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