16 Spine Surgeons & Specialists Pioneering Surgical Technique

Written by Laura Dyrda | September 04, 2012 | Print  |
Here are 15 spine surgeons and specialists who have developed surgical techniques.
We are continuously updating this list and if you would like to recommend someone for inclusion, please contact Laura at lmiller@beckershealthcare.com.

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.

Ara Deukmedjian, MD (Deuk Spine Institute, Melbourne, Fla.).
Dr. Deukmedjian is the CEO and medical director for the Deuk Spine Institute. He developed the Deuk Laser Disc Repair procedure and instrumentation. The procedure uses an endoscope and laser to perform the procedure through a quarter inch incision. During his career, Dr. Deukmedjian has been president of the Brevard County Medical Society and is a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He also established the Deuk Spine Foundation, a non-profit organization established to support continued research and development in spine health innovation. Dr. Deukmedjian earned his medical degree at the University of Southern California's School of Medicine and completed his neurosurgical training at the University of Florida at Shands. His additional training includes a fellowship funded as a principal investigator by the National Institutes of Health. He also traveled overseas to gain knowledge about laser spine surgery.

David Ditsworth, MD (Nano Spine Institute, Los Angeles).
Dr. Ditsworth is a board-certified neurosurgeon who developed the non-traumatic discectomy for treating herniated and bulging discs. He is on staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Ditsworth has authored more than 33 professional articles and serves as a member of the Congress of Neurosurgeons. Dr. Ditsworth earned his medical degree at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City and completed his residency in neurosurgery at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. His additional training includes a fellowship in neurosurgery at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.

Charles C. Edwards, II, MD (The Maryland Spine Center).
Dr. Edwards is medical director at the Maryland Spine Center and has a special interest in minimally invasive spine surgery and microscopic techniques. During his career, he developed a new skeletal reconstruction procedure for patients with conditions such as spinal tumors. He designed a cylindrical brace with rods on either side of the spinal column for the procedure. During his career, Dr. Edwards has been the invited presenter at national meetings and published several articles based on his research. He was awarded the first National Institutes of Health grant for evaluating the non-operative surgical management of symptomatic adult scoliosis. Dr. Edwards earned his medical degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta. His additional training includes a focus on managing adult and pediatric deformity at Washington University in St. Louis.

Ken Y. Hsu, MD (St. Mary's Spine Center, San Francisco).
Dr. Hsu is co-inventor 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.

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 surgeon with a special interest in less invasive spinal surgery treatment options. During his career, he invented a new surgical technique, the TransCorporal Micro Discectomy, for patients suffering form spinal stenosis. The technique allows physicians to remove herniated or ruptured disc fragment or bone spur from spinal stenosis without muscle dissection behind the spine. The procedure is a motion-sparing alternative to fusion. Dr. Lowry has been awarded two patents for his work and previously served as a consultant for venture capital firms. His research focuses on neurosurgical development and has been published in professional journals. Dr. Lowry earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and completed his residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

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.

Paul C. McAfee, MD (St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Md.).
Dr. McAfee is the director of the Scoliosis and Spine Center at St. Joseph Medical Center with a special interest in deformities and neurological deficits. He invented a cervical disc replacement prosthesis and procedure currently used in 37 countries for patients with neck pain. His additional inventions include spinal rods for scoliosis and fractures. During his career, Dr. McAfee served as a lead investigator for the Charite Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacement FDA clinical trial and consultant for more than 20 spinal instrumentation and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. McAfee earned his medical degree from State University of New York at Syracuse and completed surgical training at the University of Virginia and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He completed a fellowship in spine surgery.

Said Osman, MD (American Spine, Columbia, Md.). D
r. Osman is an orthopedic spine surgeon with a professional interest in microspine surgery and endoscopic technique. He was involved in the development of several surgical instruments, including the Uni-directional Dynamic Spinal Fixation Device, a method for postoperatively compressing a bone graft and a biologic intramedullary fixation device. Dr. Osman is also co-founder of Spine Plus, where he created minimally invasive surgical instrumentation and methods. During his career, Dr. Osman has received the Kambin Foundation Annual Award for research in minimally invasive spine surgery at Best Resident Research Paper Award from the Ohio Orthopedic Society. Dr. Osman earned his medical degree from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and completed his fellowship training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland. His additional training includes a residency and spine fellowship at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Mick Perez-Cruet, MD (Michigan Head & Spine Institute, Royal Oak, Mich.).
Dr. Perez-Cruet has a professional interest in treating patients with minimally invasive spine surgical techniques and is the creator of the BoneBac Press. The system received FDA approval for its inner body fusion device, which allows for the performance of minimally invasive spinal fusion and can bring a cost savings to the hospital. The device has brought an estimated $500,000 to $1 million savings as an alternative to artificial bone graft substances or cadaver  bone. Dr. Perez-Cruet is the chief of minimally invasive spine surgery at Beaumont Hospitals and vice-chairman and director of minimally invasive spine surgery and spine program at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree at Tufts University in Boston and completed his residency in neurological surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His additional training includes a fellowship in minimally invasive spine surgery at Rush University in Chicago.

Seyed M. Rezaian, MD (California Orthopaedic Medical Clinic, Beverly Hills). Dr. Rezaian invented the Rezaian Spinal Fixator and developed the Universal Endoscopic Discectomy for patients with a herniated disc. During his over 20-year career, Dr. Rezaian has managed more than 12,000 patients with back pain. He is a former professor of orthopedic surgery and has a special interest in minimally invasive laser disc surgery. He has presented at several professional meetings, including one for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and authored several publications. Dr. Rezaian earned his medical degree at Meshed University in Iran and completed his residency in London. His additional training includes a fellowship at Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Rick Sasso, MD (Indiana Spine Group, Indianapolis). Dr. Sasso is a founding member and president of Indiana Spine Group. He is also co-medical director of St. Vincent Spine Center and chief of spine surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine department of orthopedic surgery. Last year he received approval for a patent for instruments and techniques for guiding treatments to a spinal column related to anterior cervical discectomy and fusion as well as safely and accurately placing cervical disc replacements into the intradiscal space. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Sasso is a member of North American Spine Society, International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and Scoliosis Research Society. He earned his medical degree at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. His additional training includes spine surgery fellowships at the University of Texas Medical Center, Northwestern University in Chicago, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

Sherwin J. Wayne, MD (Orthopedic Sports Medicine & Spine Care Institute, St. Louis).
Dr. Wayne is an orthopedic spine surgeon with a special interest in lumbar spine surgery. He invented a positioning device for lumbar spine surgery that has helped revolutionize surgical technique to improve operative exposure and minimize blood loss. He served as a team physician for local athletes for several years and is a member of the North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at St. Louis University. His additional training includes a reconstructive orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation fellowship at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital in Los Angeles.

Anthony T. Yeung, MD (Desert Institute for Spine Care, Phoenix).
Dr. Yeung is the founder of Desert Institute for Spine Care and developer of the Yeung Endoscopic Spine System. The system includes multi-channel spine endoscopes and related instruments by Richard Wolf Surgical Instrument Company. He has instructed surgeons on his endoscopic technique from around the world. During his career, Dr. Yeung has served in leadership positions with the North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, as well as president of the American Academy for Minimally Invasive Spinal Medicine and Surgery. Dr. Yeung earned his medical degree at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Maricopa County General Hospital in Phoenix.

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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