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James L. Sarni, MD

Specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Dr. Sarni:

Dr. Sarni is a Board-Certified Physiatrist, specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He utilizes nonsurgical interventions to treat musculoskeletal injuries and pain.

Learn More About Dr. Sarni:

Physician Bio:

Dr. James L. Sarni is a Diplomat of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He earned his medical degree at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NYC and completed his Sports Medicine fellowship in Sports Medicine at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in NYC. He has over 20 years experience in Boston treating patients with musculoskeletal pain, with an emphasis on spine related conditions. He developed the Non Operative Spine Clinic at MGH in conjunction with leading orthopedic spine surgeons. He is also trained in fluoroscopically guided spinal injections. His background of rehabilitation medicine; understanding of the biomechanics of the spine from working with experienced spine surgeons; and his ability to give pain relieving injections make him uniquely qualified to treat those patients who have not improved with standard physical therapy, but are not surgical candidates. He has also worked as a Team Physician to a local college and is qualified to give certain ultrasound guided injections as well as some regenerative medicine techniques.


Physiatry – Non-Surgical Spine conditions, including:
Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar
Lumbar Nerve Root Block
Lumbar Facet injections
Trigger Point injections


Current Licensure and Certification

1988 Diplomat of the National Medical Board

1991 New York State Medical License

1991 Diplomat American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation/p>

1991 Massachusetts State Medical License

1998 new Hampshire State Medical License

Faculty Academic Appointments

1993-2000 Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Tufts Medical School

1993-2000 Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopedics, Tufts Medical School

2000-2016 Clinical Instructor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Harvard Medical School

Postdoctoral Training

1986-87 Intern, General Surgery Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY

1987-90 Resident, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation,Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY

1990-91 Fellow, Sports Medicine Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY


1986 MD, Medicine Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

1980 BA, Psychology College of the Holy Cross

1993 BA, Biology Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Research & Publications

Ellen MI, Young JL, Sarni JL. Musculoskeletal rehabilitation and sports medicine. 3. Knee and lower extremity injuries. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1999;80(5 Suppl 1):S59-67

Ploumis A1, Christodoulou P, Wood KB, Varvarousis D, Sarni JL, Beris A. Caudal vs transforaminal epidural steroid injections as short-term (6 months) pain relief in lumbar spinal stenosis patients with sciatica. Pain Med. 2014 Mar;15(3):379-85. doi: 10.1111/pme.12318. Epub 2013 Dec 16.

Sarni JL, Micheli L. Special consideration in children’s rehabilitation programs. Rehabilitation of the injured Knee, 2 ed, Philadelphia; Mosby: 1995.

Sarni, JL: Radiculopathy (Recorded CME lecture). In Zafonte, RD, and Schneider, JC, editors. Comprehensive Review of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.  Birmingham, AL: Oakstone Publishing, 2013.

Available Locations

Dr. Sarni is currently available at: 

– Brighton

– Cambridge

– Waltham

Trusted by Top Teams & Healthcare Institutions

Boston Celtics Team Physicians
Top Orthopedic Doctors in Boston, MA

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If you are coming to see your provider at Mount Auburn Hospital and need an x-ray, please park in the East Garage; register on the first floor; and then proceed to the ground floor for your x-ray. Thank you.
If you are coming to see your provider at Mount Auburn Hospital and need an x-ray, please park in the East Garage; register on the first floor; and then proceed to the ground floor for your x-ray. Thank you.
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