100 times spine surgeons made headlines this year

Written by Anuja Vaidya | October 06, 2014 | Print  |

Here are spine surgeons who made headlines this year for performing new procedures, winning awards, establishing new practices and furthering humanitarian work.

Christian Athanassious, MD, and Michael J. Star, MD, were tapped to lead the new Santa Rosa Orthopaedics total spine health program.
The B.A.C.K. Center and Crane Creek Surgery Center spine surgeon Richard Hynes, MD, was featured in the Herald Times for his efforts performing and instructing the oblique lumbar interbody fusion technique.


Edward Seljeskog, MD, was appointed to a four-year term on the South Dakota Transportation Commission.


Robert Masson, MD, performed the first iMAS reconstruction with Kestrel View.
Reno, Nev.-based spine surgeon James Olson, MD, was featured for his work performing sacroiliac joint surgery for patients with back and leg pain.


Tulsa World featured a business viewpoint profile on Kris Parchuri, MD, a spine surgeon at Spine & Orthopedic Specialists in Tulsa.
Jeffrey Sawyer, MD, was featured in a news report after caring for a young patient with spinal abnormality.
Spine surgeon Jared Brandoff, MD, of White Plains (N.Y.) Hospital was featured in a report from The Journal News discussing the common causes for low back pain and how to prevent it.
Dr. Stuart McGill, director of the Spine Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and Eeric Truumees, MD, an orthopedic surgeon based in Austin, Texas, were featured in a local ABC report discussing how some sex positions can cause back pain.


Medical College of Wisconsin's Raj Rao, MD, was named chairperson of the Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Devices Panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Neurosurgeon Joseph Hahn, MD, announced his retirement as chief of staff at Cleveland Clinic, effective Dec. 31.
Temple University Hospital named Charles Munyon, MD, director of functional and restorative neurosurgery.
Spine surgeon and SpineFrontier CEO Kingsley R. Chin, MD, was in the news commenting on SpineFrontier's hiring of Tamara Souriolle to boost team education.
Huntington, W.Va.-based St. Mary's Medical Center announced neurosurgeon David Weinsweig, MD, died last week in a car accident after serving St. Mary's for more than 20 years.
Tim Adamson, MD, a surgeon with Carolina NeuroSurgery & Spine Associates in Charlotte, N.C., was featured when Spine Wave launched his invention — Annex Adjacent Level System — earlier this week. He is now part of an ongoing clinical trial for the device. 


Texas back Institute's Ralph Rashbaum, MD, was featured in MD News for adopting the iFuse Implant System by SI-BONE.


Spine surgeons Anthony Yeung, MD, and James J. Yue, MD, co-chaired a course for 35 spine surgeons from around the world sponsored by the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery focused on endoscopic and minimally invasive techniques.


Orthopedic spine surgeon at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City Stuart Weinstein, MD, was featured in IowaNow for his work with a young female patient who had scoliosis.
Andrew Cash, MD, a spine surgeon at Desert Institute of Spine Care in Las Vegas, was featured in the Las Vegas Review-Journal for working with a patient who suffered injuries in a car accident.
Brian J. Snyder, MD, director of functional and restorative neurosurgery at Winthrop-University Hospital began participating in a national SENSE trial for subcutaneous and epidural neuromodulation system evolution through his practice, Neurological Surgery in Rockville Centre, N.Y.
John A. Jane Sr., MD, director of the neurosurgical training program at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, received the Governor's Award for Career Achievement.


George Frey, MD, an on orthopedic surgeon and founder of Mighty Oak Medical, shared a guiding system he developed to help surgeons precisely place screws in the vertebrae at the BioWest 2014.
University of Arizona Medical Center Trauma Center surgeons Randall Friese, MD, and Rein Anton, MD, PhD, will lead a study at the center of a new drug designed for patients with spinal cord injury.
Co-director of the Northwestern Medicine Spine Center in Chicago Alpesh A. Patel, MD, was awarded the 2015 American Orthopaedic Association's American-British-Canadian Traveling Fellowship.

Michael Haglund, MD, PhD, of Duke University in Durham, N.C., was featured in a JDNews report talking about his medical volunteer trip to Uganda where he trained physicians and performed free surgery for patients in need.

Neurosurgeon Daniel Peterson, MD, was named assistant chief medical officer and to the medical advisory board for value-based healthcare company EmployerDirect.

William Whitehead, MD, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston partnered with colleagues from around the world to perform the first two-port fetoscopic procedure to repair spina bifida in-utero.

My Fox Orlando covered a report about how Donald Sachs, MD, performed a minimally invasive sacroiliac joint surgery procedure using SI-BONE's iFuse Implant System to treat a former San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush cheerleader's back pain.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital spine surgeon Wellington Hsu, MD, was featured for a study examining which activities can be most harmful to a young athlete's spine and presented his research at the Lumbar Spine Research Society annual meeting.


Christopher Yeung, MD, of Desert Institute for Spine Care performed spine surgery on Colorado Rockies pitcher Brett Anderson.

Dan Cooper, MD, and Andrew Dossett, MD, were in the news after evaluating Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeVonte Holloman — who suffered a neck injury — and advising him to retire from professional football.

Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia named Philip A. Villanueva, MD, neurotrauma director.

George Martin, MD, a spine surgeon at Foundation Surgical Hospital of El Paso (Texas) performed his 200th minimally invasive spine surgery using the Mazor Robotics Renaissance Guidance System.

Adebukola Onibokun, MD, opened a new spine center — San Jose (Calif.) Neurospine.

Prof. Jean-Charles Le Huec performed the first procedure using FLXfit from Expanding Orthopedics for minimally invasive spine surgery.


Chief of pediatric spine and scoliosis service at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NY-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York Michael Vitale, MD, performed the area's first scoliosis correction using Ellipse Technology's MAGnetic Expansion Control device.

Authors of the new edition of "Spinal Deformities" were featured with the book's release this past week: Robert F. Heary, MD, and Todd J. Albert, MD.


Spine surgeon and CEO of Medical Facilities Corporation Donald Schellpfeffer, MD, was featured in a Seeking Alpha report discussing MFC's second quarter financial results.


Alexander Vaccaro, MD, was named president of Philadelphia-based Rothman Institute and chairman of orthopedics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.

Former neurosurgeon, author and speaker Ben Carson, MD, spoke out in August on various national news outlets about the riots in Ferguson, Mo.

Lali Sekhon, MD, a surgeon with Sierra Neurosurgery Group, became the first physician in northern Nevada to perform oblique lumbar interbody fusion.


A new healthcare-focused podcast series' pilot episode featured Marina Del Rey, Calif.-based Marina Spine Center's Robert Watkins, MD, and David Chang, MD.

Frank Cammisa, MD, chief of spine service at Hospital for Special Surgery, was in the news after consulting with New York Giants running back David Wilson, advising him to retire from the National Football League after a neck injury caused numbness in Mr. Wilson's hands and lower extremities.

Founder of Watkins Spine in Marina Del Rey, Calif., Robert Watkins, MD, performed spine surgery on Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino.

Irving, Texas-based SpineCARE Founder Douglas Won, MD, opened a new clinic in Mansfield, Texas.

Jeffrey Roh, MD, a spine surgeon at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Wash., performed the first posterior cervical spine stabilization procedure using the DTRAX technology in the state of Washington.

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine honored Anthony Yeung, MD, founder of Desert Institute for Spine Care in Phoenix, with the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2014.

Todd J. Albert, MD, newly-appointed surgeon-in-chief and medical director of Hospital for Special Surgery, was in the news in August discussing the hospital's number one ranking in orthopedics from U.S. News & World Report.

Saint Luke's Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute in Kansas City, Mo., named Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, MD, director of the spine program.


Richard Rovin, MD, medical director of the Michigan Brain Tumor Center, was accepted into the Harvard Medicine School Global Clinical Scholars Research Program.

Director of Spinal Column Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research Laboratory at Vanderbilt University Scott Parker, MD, and Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates' Matthew McGirt, MD, had their economic analysis of minimally invasive spinal fusion using Baxano Surgical's AxiaLIF procedure accepted for publication in the Journal of Managed Care Medicine.

Paul Slosar, MD, Titan Spine CMO, presented his research at the Scoliosis Research Society annual meeting and received the Whitecloud Award for Best Basic Science Research.

Marinko Rade, MD, a physician in Croatia, received the 2014 Young Investigator Award from Spine and his study findings were published in the July 15 edition of the journal.

Pediatric neurosurgeon and Senatorial hopeful Monica Wehby, MD, raised around $228,000 from political action committees in May and June, raising a reported total of $846,000 in her campaign up to that point.


Neurosurgeon and President of Arrowhead Neurosurgical Group Javed Siddiqi, DO, received a Presidential Citation during the American Osteopathic Association's annual meeting.


Hospital for Special Surgery's Oheneba Boachie-Adjei, MD, announced plans to move his practice to Ghana — his native country — full time.


University of Cincinnati College of Medicine announced John Tew Jr., MD, was named the integrative medicine program's vice president of community affairs at UC Health and as executive director of community affairs at the college of medicine.


The first surgery using Aurora Spine's Discovery interbody cage with TiNano plasma spray coating was performed in California by Neville Alleyne, MD, at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, Calif.


The Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America awarded Richard M. Schwend, MD, director of the orthopedic research program at Children's Mercy Kansas City, the 2014 POSNA Humanitarian Award.

Barrow Neurological Institute Director of the Neurosurgery Spine Program and Director of Neurotrauma Nicholas Theodore, MD, was appointed principal investigator for the InVivo Therapeutics Neuro-Spinal Scaffold clinical trial at BNI.


Luis Manuel Tumialan, MD, performed successful spine surgery on Olympic gold medalist swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen after she severed her spinal cord in an ATV accident.

Father-daughter neurosurgery team Ed Kosnik, MD, and Libby Kosnik Infinger, MD, were in the news for partnering in the operating room at the Medical University of South Carolina as they are the only known father-daughter neurosurgery duo to share the operating room.

Neurosurgeons Ali Baaj, MD, and Kumar Kakarla, MD, were featured for performing corrective spinal deformity surgery on an orphan from Uganda at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson.


Longtime neurosurgeon at Geisinger Community Medical Center Shripathi Holla, MD, announced his retirement.


Raj Rampersaud, MD, was featured in The Star for a unique procedure he performed on a patient with rare cartilage cancer attached to his spine.

Kenneth Pettine, MD, completed the first series of M6-C implants as part of the U.S. FDA clinical trial at Arete Surgical Center in Johnstown, Colo.


In June, Raj N. Sureja, MD, of Orthopaedic & Spine Center in Newport News, Va., became the first physician in Virginia, and one of the first physicians in the United States, to use the Stryker TroFlex Curved Needle to treat a vertebral compression fracture patient during a balloon kyphoplasty procedure.


Allegheny Health Network announced Donald Whiting, MD, will take over as neurosurgery chairmen.


Drew Dossett, MD, performed spinal fusion on Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison and Texas Rangers slugger Prince Fielder.


Roger Härtl, MD, professor of neurological surgery and his spine team in collaboration with Larry Bonassar, PhD, and his biomedical engineering team, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York have been named the 2014 winners of the Ronald Apfelbaum Research Award, presented by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves.


Moris Senegor, MD, wrote and released a fictional book based on his experiences as a young neurosurgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, called "Dogmeat."


Eric C. Leuthardt, MD, of Washington University in St. Louis, wrote and published a science fiction book based on his research.

Scoliosis Research Society awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Awards to Alvin H. Crawford, MD, and David S. Bradford, MD.


Jeffrey Nees, MD, became the second neurosurgeon in an Oklahoma ambulatory surgery center to perform a two-level artificial disc replacement.


The American Association of Neurological Surgeons awarded the Humanitarian Award to Anselmo Pineda, MD, who is a professor of neurobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Victory Medical Center Landmark in San Antonio announced that Steven Cyr, MD, received the 2014 Healthcare Heroes Award for excellence in military medicine given by the San Antonio Business Journal.


Jeffrey Sawyer, MD, performed pediatric scoliosis surgery using the MAGEC Spinal Bracing and Distraction System — the first in Memphis, Tenn., and 10th in the United States, since the system received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


Amit Darnule, MD, of Southlake-based Spine Team Texas, became the first physician in the Greater Fort Worth area to implant the Protégé system, a spinal cord stimulator in May.


Mark Fye, MD, of Steubenville, Ohio-based Trinity Health System, performed the region's first cervical spinal disc replacement.


Seth Neubardt, MD, and software company ARCHES launched a pilot to help patients with cervical spine issues determine whether they are good candidates for surgery.


In April, Colorado neurosurgeon Steve Shogan, MD, announced he would close his medical practice and enter into the senatorial race as an unaffiliated candidate.


Thomas Ellis, MD, a surgeon with Fort Worth Brain and Spine Institute, performed anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on Texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.


Charles A. Fager, MD, a pioneering neurosurgeon, died in April.


Troy M. Tippett, MD, was awarded the Harvey Cushing Medal by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons for his contributions to neurosurgery through leadership, service and dedication.


Robert Watkins, MD, successfully performed spine surgery on New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson.


Robert Masson, MD, founder of Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based NeuroSpine Institute, returned from Survivor Summit to support LIVESTRONG.


UCLA Chief of Orthopedic Spine Surgery Arya Nick Shamie, MD, performed spine surgery in March that was broadcast to Tehran University of Medical Services in Iran.


Zoher Ghogawala, MD, began leading a three-year study at 10 U.S. medical centers to compare three different surgical techniques to treat cervical spondylotic myelopathy and will create a national outcomes registry to serve as a guide for surgeons performing CSM procedures.


Judson Cook, MD, a neurosurgeon, became the first surgeon in Wyoming to perform cervical disc replacement surgery the PCM Cervical Disc device.


Jeffrey Carlson, MD, became the first surgeon in Virginia to complete an L4-L5 Fusion using SpineFrontier's Less Exposure Surgery technology — LES REmind pedicle screws.


In February, Portland Business Journal named the "40 Under 40" honorees, including Oregon Spine Care's Robert Tatsumi, MD.


J. Peter Witt, MD, a spine surgeon at the University of Colorado Hospital Spine Center in Aurora, is currently helping pioneer a new technique for treating herniated discs called percutaneous lumbar endoscopic discectomies or PELDs.


UCLA researchers Daniel Lu, MD, and Reggie Edgerton, MD, received a five-year $6 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering for research on cervical spinal cord injury therapies.


Richard Wohns, MD, founder and president of NeoSpine and Microsurgical Spine Center hosted the 10th Mazama Spine Summit in February.


Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus appointed Jeffrey R. Leonard, MD, as chief of neurosurgery.


Gary Michelson, MD, a retired orthopedic surgeon and spine device inventor, donated $50 million to the University of Southern California for the construction of a bioscience research building.


Joe Maroon, MD, served as the medical director for the "No Limits" expedition, in which 10 people who are missing arms, legs or both climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.


The Philippine Medical Association in Chicago named Henry Echiverri, MD, 2014 Physician of the Year.


Andrew W. Moulton, MD, of Sarasota (Fla.) Orthopedic Associates traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide care for children with spinal deformities.


Ara Deukmedjian, MD, the founder, CEO and medical director of Deuk Spine Institute, opened the Surgery Center of Viera in Melbourne, Fla.

More articles on spine:

What is the best treatment surgical treatment for thoracolumbar fracture-dislocation?
10 spine, neurosurgeons in the headlines this week — Oct. 3
Career-defining watershed moments for spine surgeons


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