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20 Spine and Neurosurgeon Inventors to Know

Written by  Laura Dyrda | Wednesday, 08 February 2012 11:43
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Here are 20 spine and neurosurgeons currently in practice who invented spinal devices, techniques and systems.

Edward Benzel, MD (Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland). Dr. Benzel holds at least nine patents for devices, including a cervical spine stabilization method and system and a spinal column retaining apparatus. He is chairman of the Cleveland Clinic's department of neurosurgery. His clinical interests focus on spinal disorders, complex spine instrumentation and spine tumors. He is one of the founding members of the Lumbar Spine Research Society, which formed in 2007. He is chairman of the review board for the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine and has reviewed for Spine, The Spine Journal and other publications. Dr. Benzel is medical co-director of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Spine Research Laboratory. Dr. Benzel earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where he also completed his residency in neurosurgery. He received fellowship training in spine surgery and spinal cord injury at VA Medical Center in Albuquerque.

Scott Boden, MD (Emory Healthcare, Atlanta). Dr. Boden holds at least six different patents for medical devices and his research focuses on spine fusion, spinal disorders and bone regeneration. He is the director of Emory Healthcare's orthopedics and spine center as well as chairman and founder of the National Spine Network. More than 150 of Dr. Boden's journal articles have been published, and he has authored or edited more than 42 book chapters and nine books on spine topics. His research on the fundamental mechanisms of bone growth and regeneration has been awarded by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society, International Society for Study of the Lumbar Spine and other professional organizations. He earned his medical degree at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, completed an internship at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and received fellowship training at Case Western Reserve University Hospital in Cleveland.

Robert S. Bray, Jr., MD (Diagnostic and Interventional Spinal Care, Marina del Rey, Calif.). Dr. Bray has contributed to more than 20 patents, including a cervical dynamic stabilization system, SmartPlate spinal implant and a slidable bone plate system. He is the founding director and CEO of his practice, Diagnostic and Interventional Spine Care. He was chief of neurosurgery for the U.S. Air Force at David Grant Medical Center in 1989 and the founding director of the Institute for Spinal Disorders at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Bray has served as spine consultant for the U.S. Men's volleyball team and the Oakland Raiders, among other professional athletic organizations. After he received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Dr. Bray completed his residency at Baylor Affiliated Hospitals, also in Houston.

James Lloyd Chappuis, MD (Spine Center Atlanta). Dr. Chappuis is in private practice at Atlanta Spine Center and holds patents for several spine devices, including an internal pedicle screw insulator apparatus and facet fusion system. Additional patents are pending for devices such as the Doppler retractor and a modular lumbar interbody fixation system. Dr. Chappuis is a member of several professional societies, including North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Chappuis has authored several papers on spinal surgery and served as a clinical instructor at The Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Dr. Chappuis earned his medical degree at The Medical College of Ohio in Toledo and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Campbell Clinic/University of Tennessee. His additional training includes the AO Spine Fellowship where he studied in Karlsbad, Germany.

Kingsley R. Chin, MD (Institute for Modern & Innovative Spine Surgery, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.). Dr. Kingsley is the founding spine surgeon at the Institute for Modern & Innovative Spine Surgery and inventor of the FacetFuse Minimally Invasive Screw System and MANTIS minimally invasive pedicle screw system for spinal fusion. During his career, Dr. Chin served as the chief of spine surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and has published several articles in professional journals. He is a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He earned his medical degree at Harvard University in Boston and completed the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. His additional training includes a fellowship in adult reconstructive surgery at Harvard and a fellowship in spine surgery at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Charles R. Gordon, MD (Texas Spine and Joint Hospital, Tyler). Dr. Gordon has contributed to the development of several patented devices, including an artificial functional spinal unit system and an expandable articulating intervertebral implant. He founded the device company Flexuspine along with his practice, Gordon Spine Associates, based in Tyler, Texas. He is a co-founder of Texas Spine and Joint Hospital and a member of the North American Spine Society and American Association of Neurological Surgeons, among other professional organizations. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and completed his residency and fellowship at The Medical College of Virginia.

Regis W. Haid, Jr., MD (Atlanta Brain and Spine Care, Atlanta). Dr. Haid holds multiple patents for implants used during cervical lateral mass plating, anterior cervical plating, posterior and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and cervical arthroplasty. He is a founding partner of Atlanta Brain and Spine Care and medical director of the Piedmont Spine Center and neuroscience service line at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. Dr. Haid has traveled internationally to present at spine conferences, including visits to Italy, Russia and Switzerland. He was previously the staff neurosurgeon for the U.S. Air Force at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio. Dr. Haid earned his medical degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown, where he also completed his neurosurgical residency. He received fellowship training in spinal disorders at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Ken Y. Hsu, MD (St. Mary's Spine Center, San Francisco). Dr. Hsu is co-inventor – with James F. Zucherman, MD, also at St. Mary's — of the X Stop Interspinous Process Decompression System, which alleviates the symptoms of lumbar spinal stenosis. The process, FDA-approved in 2005, was first in the category of interspinous process devices. Dr. Hsu, who holds 43 patents, has been the director of spine surgery at St. Mary's Medical Center since 1988 and is a member of the clinical faculty at Stanford University. He received his medical degree from State University of New York, completed a residency in general surgery at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco and an orthopedic surgery residency at St. Mary's. He completed a fellowship in spine and pediatric orthopedic surgery at the University of Hong Kong.

A. Jay Khanna, MD (Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Baltimore).
Dr. Khanna is an associate professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering at the Johns Hopkins University and holds patents for an orthopedic screw system and universally deployable and expandable bone and screw anchor assembly. He currently serves on the clinical teams of BOSS Medical and Cortical Concepts, two companies that he co-founded with his colleagues and biomedical engineering students from Johns Hopkins to foster the development of new orthopedic technologies. Dr. Khanna previously served as the Clinical Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering, Innovation and Design (CBID) which prepares graduate and undergraduate biomedical engineering students to become leaders in the medical device industry and creates collaborations between clinicians and engineers at Hopkins to develop new technologies and companies. Dr. Khanna has a special interest in treating patients with cervical spinal disorders and the use of minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of lumbar spinal disorders. He is a member of North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Khanna has research interests in minimally invasive spine surgery and spinal biomechanics. He earned his medical degree at the Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and completed his residency at Johns Hopkins. His additional training includes a fellowship spine surgery in the departments of in orthopedic and neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

Jeffrey A. Kozak, MD (Foundren Orthopedic Group, Houston). Dr. Kozak is a spine surgeon with Foundren Orthopedic Group and has a special interest in performing anterior procedures. He helped design several spinal implants and holds a patent for a spinal fixation device he invented. During his career, Dr. Kozak served on the Texas Workers' Compensation Task Force and authored several professional articles on spine surgery. He is a founding member and past president of the Texas Spine Society and member of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Kozak earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes spinal fellowships in England, France and Germany.

Casey K. Lee, MD (Spine Care and Rehabilitation, Roseland, N.J.). Dr. Lee is a spine surgeon with Spine Care and Rehabilitation and founder of Nexgen Spine, which developed the Physio-L Artificial Disc. He serves as chairman and chief medical officer of Nexgen Spine and continues his interest in the development of artificial disc prostheses. During his career, Dr. Lee has served as president of the North American Spine Society and New Jersey Orthopaedic Society as well as co-founder of the Korean American Spine Society. He has authored several papers published in spine text books and peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Lee earned his medical degree from Kyungpook National University Medical School in Korea and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Carney Hospital/Boston City Hospital in Boston. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Lee spent time as a professor of surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School in Newark.

Isador Lieberman, MD (Texas Back Institute, Plano).
Dr. Lieberman holds multiple patents for his technological innovations, including SpineAssist, a robotic tool he recently co-developed for use during minimally invasive spine surgery. He has held appointments with Cleveland Clinic as staff surgeon and professor of surgery at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. His developments have been recognized with awards from Cleveland Clinic and the Spine Society of Europe. He recently co-founded the Uganda Charitable Spine Surgeon Mission, with which he accompanies a team of surgeons to visit Uganda each year to treat the underprivileged with spine conditions. He earned his medical degree from the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, and completed his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He also completed residency programs in orthopedic surgery at two Toronto hospitals along with a clinical fellowship in spine and trauma surgery at The Toronto Hospital.

David W. Lowry, MD (The Brain+Spine Center, Holland, Mich.). Dr. Lowry is a neurological spine surgeon with The Brain+Spine Center and co-founder of TransCorp Spine. He continues to serve as a board member of the company. During his career, Dr. Lowry invented a new spine surgery technique, the TransCorporal Micro Discectomy, for patients suffering from spinal stenosis. He holds two patents for his work and continues his efforts in research and development in areas such as the cervical spine. Dr. Lowry is a member of North American Spine Society and Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He also serves on the board of trustees for Hope College, his alma mater. Dr. Lowry earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore and completed additional training at the University of Pittsburgh.

Robert Masson, MD (NeuroSpine Institute, Orlando).
Dr. Masson is the founder and president of NeuroSpine Institute and a retired Lieutenant Commander of the United States Naval Reserve. He has a professional interest in minimally invasive spine surgery and developer of the iMAS surgical principles, techniques and products for Synthes Spine. The iMAS is an interpedicular minimal access surgery of the lumbar spine. During his career, Dr. Masson has treated several professional athletes, including football and basketball players. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Masson is a member of the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. He was also featured on a Discovery Health documentary as a neurological surgery expert. Dr. Masson earned his medical degree at the University of Florida and completed his neurological surgery residency in Gainesville, Fla. His additional training includes a fellowship in skull base surgery and neurotology at the House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles.

Seth Neubardt, MD (Seth Neubardt, M.D. & Jack Stern, M.D., Ph.D., White Plains, N.Y.).
Dr. Neubardt is the sole inventor of several medical patents, including one for a spinal procedure to safely insert screws which is now used at more than 600 hospitals in 15-plus countries. He has a professional interest in developing technology for minimally invasive spine surgery, such as an electrically insulated surgical probing tool and an apparatus and method for locating defects in bone tissue. He is a fellow with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and member of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Neubardt earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Montefiore medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. His additional training includes an orthopedic and neurological spine fellowship at New York University Medical Center in New York City.

Kenneth A. Pettine, MD (Rocky Mountain Associates, Loveland, Colo.).
Dr. Pettine is co-inventor and co-designer of the Maverick Artificial Disc, a disc replacement device for the neck and back. He is a co-founder of Rocky Mountain Associates and a surgeon at Loveland (Colo.) Surgery Center. During his career, Dr. Pettine has been chief investigator for eight FDA studies involving non-fusion spine technology. He is a distinguished speaker at national and international symposiums and the author of nearly 20 research publications. He received his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver. He completed his residency and his master's degree in orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and completed a fellowship at the Institute for Low Back Care in Minneapolis.

David G. Schwartz, MD (OrthoIndy Northwest, Indianapolis).
Dr. Schwartz is the inventor of the Anteres Spinal Instrumentation System, which is used for the treatment of spinal fractures, scoliosis and tumors. During his career, Dr. Schwartz's clinical interests include spinal deformities, kyphosis, scoliosis and low back pain. He is the director of OrthoIndy's Spine Fellowship and an assistant clinical professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at Indiana University in Bloomington. He earned his medical degree from Loyola University in Chicago, completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago and received fellowship training in spine surgery at the Leatherman Spine Center, Kosair Childrens Hospital and the University of Louisville, all located in Louisville, Ky.

Jeffrey Wang, MD (UCLA Comprehensive Spine Center, Los Angeles).
Dr. Wang practices with the UCLA Comprehensive Spine Center and is the director of the UCLA Spine Surgery Fellowship. He is the inventor of an artificial disc, which he used in a spine surgery for Governor Benigno R. Fitial, who was suffering from spinal stenosis. During his career, Dr. Wang has served on the editorial boards for several professional journals, including editor-in-chief for Global Spine Journal and deputy editor for The Spine Journal. He has served on the board of directors for the Cervical Spine Research Society and North American Spine Society as well as held leadership positions with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Wang runs a basic science laboratory. His research interests include gene therapy for spinal disorders, minimally invasive spine surgery and bone growth biological proteins. He earned his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Wang's additional training includes a spine and spinal cord injury fellowship at University Hospitals of Cleveland.

Anthony T. Yeung, MD (Desert Institute for Spine Care, Phoenix).
Dr. Yeung developed the FDA-approved Yeung Endoscopic Spine System, and was one of the first spine surgeons to utilize endoscopically-guided laser for degenerative conditions of the lumbar spine. During his career, Dr. Yeung has authored more than 70 scientific publications on his technique. He is currently the president of the World Congress of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons and has held leadership positions within numerous other national and international spine organizations. Dr. Yeung received his medical degree from University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, completed his residency at Maricopa County General Hospital in Phoenix and served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corp in Subic Bay, Philippines.

Jim Zucherman, MD (San Francisco Orthopaedic Surgeons).
Dr. Zucherman is a senior spine partner at San Francisco Orthopaedic Surgeons Medical Group and inventor and co-developer of the X-Stop, an interspinous process device for treating lumbar spinal stenosis. He is also in the process of developing the Starflex motion preservation minimally invasive spine stabilization device through Spartek. During his career, Dr. Zucherman has pioneered several surgical techniques and developed one of the first laparoscopic lumbar spinal fusions and percutaneous cervical discectomy procedures in the United States. He has been a principle investigator for the Prodisc and Flexicore FDA lumbar disc replacement trials as well as the Prestige and Cervicore cervical disc replacement trials. Dr. Zucherman earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery through the San Francisco Orthopaedic Residency Program. His additional training includes a pediatric and orthopedic spine surgery fellowship at the Duchess of Kent Children's Orthopaedic Hospital of the University of Hong Kong.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 13:25
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