20 Spine Surgeons Focused on Implant Design

Written by Heather Linder | May 31, 2013 | Print  |
Here are 20 spine surgeons that have developed or contributed to spinal devices and implants. If you would like to recommend additional surgeons for this list, please contact Heather at hlinder@beckershealthcare.com.Joseph Aferzon, MD. Dr. Aferzon is a clinical adviser for Orthozon Technologies, a medical device company for spine surgery solutions. He is a neurological surgeon and co-director at the Connecticut Spine Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery and chief of the department of neurosurgery at the Hospital of Central Connecticut. He has a master's degree from Courant Institute of Mathematics at New York University in mathematics and computers with application in bio-medical sciences. He also completed a neurosurgery residency at the University of Connecticut's Hartford Hospital. Dr. Aferzon has 14 years of clinical experience, and his area of expertise is minimally invasive spinal fusions. He was the first surgeon in Connecticut to be accepted as a member of the Society for Lateral Access Surgery. He is also a member of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery, Congress of Neurological Surgery, National Association of Spine Surgeons, New England Neurosurgical Society and Society of Lateral Access Surgeons.

Clay Baynham, MD. Dr. Baynham is a founder and director of Atlas Spine, a company focused on developing products for the cervical and lumbar spine. He is currently an orthopedic spine surgeon at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute with a professional interest in adult and pediatric spinal problems as well as a consultant with the Palm Beach County Trauma District. He is trained in microsurgical and laser techniques and has served as a spinal consultant to Children's Medical Services. Dr. Baynham earned his medical degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he also completed his residency. His additional training includes an adult and pediatric spine surgery fellowship at Lakewood Orthopedic Clinic, and he spent time training at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

Scott Boden, MD. Dr. Boden is a professor of orthopedic surgery and director of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center in Atlanta. During his career he has been the clinical director of The Whitesides Orthopaedic Research Laboratory and is a member of several professional organizations, including the North American Spine Society. He holds multiple patents for medical devices and his research focuses on spinal fusion and bone regeneration. A primary original researcher on bone growth factor development and spine fusion technology, Dr. Boden is also an international lecturer and teacher.

Kingsley Chin, MD. Dr. Chin is a founding spine surgeon with the Institute for Modern & Innovative Surgery in Palm Beach, Fla., and former chief of spine surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia. He is also an inventor with 23 issued and pending patents on spinal devices, including the MANTIS minimally invasive pedicle screw system and FacetFuse, which received FDA approval in 2008. He is a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Chin is the CEO and a co-founder of SpineFrontier, a company that focuses on its minimally invasive spine device portfolio.

Steve Courtney, MD. Dr. Courtney is the founder of Eminent Spine, a medical device company focused on manufacturing spinal implants. He is a spine surgeon at Plano (Texas) Orthopedic Sports Medicine & Spine Center and has served as chief of orthopedic surgery at the Medical Center of Plano. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Courtney is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and North American Spine Society. He has been recognized as a top physician in Texas by several local publications and has a professional interest in reconstructive neck and back surgery. Dr. Courtney earned his medical degree at Louisiana State University Medical School in Eunice and completed his residency at Texas A&M University Medical Center in College Station. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at the Florida Neck & Back Institute in Gainesville.

Jeffrey Fischgrund, MD. Dr. Fischgrund is an orthopedic spine surgeon who has been on the board of directors of TranS1, a medical device company for degenerative conditions of the lower lumbar spine region, since April 2012. He is a professor of orthopedic surgery at The Oakland University School of Medicine in Royal Oak, Mich. He has served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons since 2009 and has been the spine fellowship director at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak since 2008. His research interests are in spinal surgery, bone morphogenetic proteins and cervical disc replacements. Dr. Fischgrund received his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He completed an orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and a spine surgery fellowship at the Beaumont Hospital. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Michigan Orthopaedic Society, Michigan State Medical Society, Oakland Count Medical Society, Detroit Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Spine Study Group.

Steven R. Garfin, MD. Dr. Garfin is the chairman of the Surgeon Advisory Board at SI-BONE, a company focused on minimally invasive sacroiliac joint surgery. He is a professor and chairman in the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of California in San Diego. During his career, Dr. Garfin has been the president of the North American Spine Society and Cervical Spine Research Society. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Garfin has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and was part of a group of surgeons who met to devise an algorithm for treatment of patients with SI joint pathology. Dr. Garfin earned his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of California in San Diego. His additional training includes a spine disorders fellowship at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

Charles Gordon, MD.
Dr. Gordon is the founder and scientific advisory board chairman for Flexus Spine, a device company focused on total spine arthroplasty. He also holds the patents on Flexus Spine technology. He is board certified in neurological surgery, and his interests are solving problems related to the entire functional spinal unit. He is the founder of Gordon Spine Associates and practices at The Texas Spine & Joint Hospital in Tyler. Dr. Gordon received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his fellowship in neurosurgery at The Medical College of Virginia. He completed and internship and residency in general surgery from the Medical College of Virginia. He is affiliated with the North American Spine Society, Texas Medical Association, Smith County Medical Association, American Medical Association, Texas Association of Neurological Surgeons and American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Stephen H. Hochschuler, MD. Dr. Hochschuler is the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Physicians for Alphatec Spine, a spine device company. He has also served as a chairman at SpineMark and co-founder of Innovative Spinal Technologies. In addition to his spine device development work, Dr. Hochschuler co-founded Texas Back Institute in Plano and is a founding member and former president of the board of directors for the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery. During his career, Dr. Hochschuler has published several articles in professional journals and authored two books for the patient population about managing back pain. Dr. Hochschuler earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. He also spent time in the United States Air Force and is the founder of the spine division of the Veterans Administration in Dallas.

Ken Hsu, MD. Dr. Hsu is a senior spine surgeon at San Francisco Orthopaedic Surgeons and co-inventor of the X-STOP device for minimally invasive spine surgery. He was among the first spine surgeons in the western United States to use a pedicle screw and has participated in several clinical trials, including trails for artificial disc replacement. During his career, Dr. Hsu has been president of the San Francisco Orthopaedic Surgeons Medical Group and director of spine services at St. Mary's Spine Center.

John P. Kostuik, MD. Dr. Kostuik is the founder, past chairman and chief medical officer of K2M. He previously served as chief of spine surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. During his career, Dr. Kostuik served as president of the Scoliosis Research Society and North American Spine Society. He was one of the original members and organizers of NASS and is recognized as a leading teacher in spine surgery, having instructed more than 150 international spine fellows. In addition to his clinical practice, he has authored several articles on advanced spinal technologies and treatments and served as a key note speaker at major spine society events. Dr. Kostuik earned his medical degree at Queen's University Faculty of Health in Ontario, Canada.

Isador Lieberman, MD. Dr. Lieberman is on the medical advisory board for Mazor Robotics, a spine surgery device company who focuses on robotic guidance systems. Mazor is well-known for its Renaissance Surgical Guidance System. Dr. Lieberman is also the director of the scoliosis and spine tumor center at the Texas Back Institute in Plano. His clinical specialties include minimally invasive spinal surgery, spine deformities, spine tumors, osteoporosis and spine fractures. He received his medical degree from the University of Toronto in Canada. He completed a comprehensive surgery internship at The Wellesley Hospital in Toronto and an orthopedic surgery residency at the Sunnybrook Health Centre and Toronto East General Hospital. Dr. Lieberman is also fellowship-trained in spine surgery from both the Toronto Hospital and Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, United Kingdom. He's a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society and Scoliosis Research Society.

Gary Michelson, MD. Dr. Michelson is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who develops surgical treatments for major spinal disorders. His inventions include minimally invasive spine implants, anterior cervical plating systems, interbody spinal fusion systems and systems for implanting spinal motion preservation devices, such as artificial discs. Dr. Michelson has more than 250 U.S. patents on instruments, methods and devices for spine and orthopedic procedures, and in 2005 he sold many of his patents to Medtronic. He retired from private practice and runs several charitable organizations including the Medical Research Foundation Trust, Michelson Medical Research Foundation and Twenty Million Minds Foundation. He completed fellowship training at St. Luke's Medical Center in a joint program between Baylor University and the University of Texas.

Warren Neely, MD. Dr. Neely is co-founder and chief medical officer for Wenzel Spine. During his career, Dr. Neely has focused on research and participated in pioneering research and development of new stand-alone lumbar fusion technology and procedures. He has a professional interest in treating adult patients with cervical and lumbar spinal pathologies and has been in private practice for more than 32 years. He is a board-certified neurological surgeon and a diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Neely earned his medical degree at The University of Louisville (Ky.) and completed his residency and fellowship at Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada.

John E. Sherman, MD. Dr. Sherman is the medical director of CoreSpine, a company focused on developing technology for advanced surgical devices for spine surgery. He practices at Twin Cities Orthopedics in Edina, Minn., and specializes in spine surgery. Dr. Sherman also has served as an assistant professor at the University of California Los Angeles' Orthopaedic Hospital Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He has conducted research on engineering technologies and focuses on motion preservation and minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Sherman graduated from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He completed a surgery residency at the University of Minnesota Medical School and a fellowship at UCLA's department of orthopedics. He's a member of many organizations, including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Hennepin County Medical Society, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Orthopaedic Society, North American Spine Society and International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery.

Paul Slosar, MD. Dr. Slosar is the medical director of Titan Spine, a spine device company. He serves as president of SpineCare Medical Group and assistant director of surgical research and surgical fellowship at The San Francisco Spine Institute. During his career, he has served as a reviewer for Spine and on the editorial board of The Spine Journal. He is a member of several professional societies, including North American Spine Society, Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. Dr. Slosar earned his medical degree at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at The San Francisco Spine Institute and SpineCare Medical Group.

Jeffrey Thramann, MD. Dr. Thramann is the co-founder and chairman of the board of directors at Lanx, a spine device company. He also founded his practice, Boulder Neurological Associates. During his career, he has served on the medical advisory board for NeoSpine, a spine surgery center management and development company. Dr. Thramann is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. In addition to his clinical work, he has published articles in professional journals. He earned his medical degree from Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City and completed his neurosurgery residency at Maricopa Medical Center at St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. His additional training includes time at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.

Eric Woodard, MD. Dr. Woodard is the chief medical officer of InVivo Therapeutics, a medical device company focused on finding solutions for patients with spinal cord injury. Dr. Woodard is also the chief of neurosurgery at New England Baptist Hospital and former chief of spine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital, both in Boston. He established the neurosurgery fellowship in spine surgery at NEBH and has been on the editorial board for The Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques and Spine Universe. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Woodard is a member of several professional societies, including North American Spine Society and has served as chairman of the AO Spine North America Board. Dr. Woodard earned his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa., and completed his neurological surgery residency at Emory University in Atlanta. His additional training includes a fellowship in complex spine surgery at Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Steven Zielinski, MD. Dr. Zielinski is the head of the department of neurology at Providence Hospital in Waco, Texas. He holds a patent for an artificial spinal implant that was developed for insertion between vertebrae to replace ruptured, degenerated or damaged spinal discs. Dr. Zielinski also serves as the president and CEO of Zielinski Medical Technologies. He served a neurosurgical residency at Montreal Neurological Hospital in Canada and a cerebrovascular fellowship at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. He's a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and North American Spine Society.

Jim Zucherman, MD. Dr. Zucherman is program co-director for the Stanford/St. Mary's Hospital Combined Spine Surgery Fellowship Program and a founding member of the St. Mary's Spine Center. He is a partner with the San Francisco Orthopaedic Surgeons and co-developer of the X-Stop procedure. Dr. Zucherman has served on the medical advisory board to St. Francis Medical Technologies since 1999. He has been involved in developing the Starflex motion preservation minimally invasive spine stabilization device through Spartek and has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Zucherman served a pediatric orthopedic spine surgery fellowship at Duchess of Kent Children's Orthopaedic Hospital in Hong Kong.

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