10 Spine and Neurosurgeon Leaders in Complex Spinal Deformity Correction

Written by Laura Dyrda | September 21, 2011 | Print  |
Here is a list of 10 spine surgeons who are leaders in complex spinal deformity. Behrooz Akbarnia, MD (San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, Calif.). Dr. Akbarnia is the medical director at the San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders. He also serves as a clinical professor in the department of orthopedic surgery at the University of California in San Diego and director of the San Diego Spine Fellowship Program. During his career, Dr. Akbarnia has received honors from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Scoliosis Research Society and American Medical Association. He previously served as president of the Scoliosis Research Society and is an active member of the North American Spine Society and the American Spinal Injury Association. He is spearheading the Growing Spine Study Group and has been involved in community service projects such as the Neurofibromatosis Foundation. Dr. Akbaria earned his medical degree from Tehran University Medical School in Iran and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Albany (N.Y) Medical Center. His additional training includes the John H. Moe Scoliosis Fellowship Program.

Keith Bridwell, MD (Center for Advanced Medicine, St. Louis).
Dr. Bridwell's career has been devoted to patients needing complex spine reconstruction. He has served as president of the Scoliosis Research Society and co-founded the Spinal Deformity Study Group. In 1991, Dr. Bridwell founded the Spinal Deformity Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, which has trained approximately 40 spine surgeons in spinal deformity and complex spinal reconstruction procedures. During his career, Dr. Bridwell has also been editor-in-chief for The Textbook of Spinal Surgery and deputy editor for the spinal deformity section of Spine. He is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and North American Spine Society. Dr. Bridwell earned his medical degree at Washington University Medical School, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes a spinal deformity research fellowship at Rush Medical College in Chicago.

Michael Chang, MD (Sonoran Spine Center, Phoenix). Dr. Chang is a spine surgeon who performs surgical correction for complex spine deformity cases, including three-column osteotomies. He has a special interest in spinal deformity and disorders of the cervical spine. He is trained in minimally invasive spine surgery techniques and focuses on research in addition to his clinical work. Dr. Chang is a member of several professional organizations, including Scoliosis Research Society, North American Spine Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. His additional training includes a spine surgery fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis.

Christopher J. DeWald, MD (Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Chicago). Dr. DeWald is an assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center with a professional interest in advanced spine surgery techniques. He also serves as chief of the section of spine surgery and scoliosis at the Hospital of Cook County in Chicago. Throughout his career, Dr. DeWald has been a member of several professional societies and a fellow of the Scoliosis Research Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He also has a focus on research, with his primary interests including fusionless scoliosis surgery. He has published extensively on his research, including articles on topics such as traumatic posterior spondyloptosis. During his career, he has directed spinal deformity fellows at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago . Dr. DeWald earned his medical degree at Rush University and completed his residency at the University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center/Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children. He also underwent fellowship training in Germany, France and Japan.

Tyler R. Koski, MD (Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago). Dr. Koski is a neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and director of the complex and reconstructive spine surgery fellowship at Northwestern University School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Scoliosis Research Society and Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He has been an invited lecturer at North American Spine Society and is on the board of directors for the ONE Spine organization. His wide research focuses on patients with complex spinal disorders. He is currently on a team of Northwestern surgeons who are conducting a National Institute of Health-funded trial investigating adult scoliosis. He is a contributor to Northwestern's High Risk Spine protocol. Dr. Koski earned his medical degree from Michigan State College of Human Medicine in East Lansing and completed his residency in neurological surgery at McGraw Medical Center at Northwestern. His additional training includes a fellowship at Northwestern in complex and reconstructive spinal surgery.

Frank Lamarca, MD (University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor). Dr. Lamarca is the director of the section of spine surgery and co-director of the Spine Research Laboratory at University of Michigan Health System. He has a professional interest in adult and pediatric complex spinal deformity of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. He is also interested in treatment for scoliosis, tumor and trauma. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Lamarca conducts research on spinal cord regeneration, tissue engineered disc replacement and artificial disc procedures. He also spends time focusing on the effects of bone morphogenic protein on spinal tumors and disc regeneration as well as the outcomes of complex spinal surgery and minimally invasive spinal deformity correction surgery. Dr. Lamarca earned his medical degree at Catholic University Medical School at Agostino Gemelli (Rome) and completed his residency and fellowship in complex spine surgery at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.

Praveen Mummaneni, MD (University of California, San Francisco). Dr. Mummaneni is the director of minimally invasive and cervical spine surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He is also the director of the university's Minimally Invasive and Complex Spine Fellowship Program and the co-director of spine surgery and the UCSF Spine Center. He has a special focus on minimally invasive surgical techniques, spinal tumors and spine trauma. During his career, Dr. Mummaneni has been the honored guest of the Japanese Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the first neurosurgeon to win the Scoliosis Research Society's Traveling Fellowship Award. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques and Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. Dr. Mummaneni earned his medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and completed his residency in neurological surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. His additional training includes a complex spine surgery fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta.

Michael F. O'Brien, MD (Baylor Scoliosis Center, Plano, Texas). Dr. O'Brien is the medical director of research at the Baylor Scoliosis Center. He has a professional interest in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal deformity in pediatric and adult patients. During his career, he has served as the chairman of the Scoliosis Research Society Global Outreach Committee, which provides complex spine care to patients in Central and South America. He has also worked with Health Volunteers Overseas to provide care for patients with spinal deformities in Columbia and Nicaragua. Dr. O'Brien is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Cervical Spine Research Society and North American Spine Society. Dr. O'Brien earned his medical degree at State University of New York at Downstate in Brooklyn, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. His additional training includes a fellowship in spine surgery at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis and an international spine fellowship at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. He also completed the Scoliosis Research Society traveling fellowship in Chicago.

MAJ Michael K. Rosner, MD (The Hugh & Carolyn Shelton Military Neurotrauma Foundation).
Dr. Rosner is currently the principle investigator for the Defense Spinal Cord and Column Injury Program, funded by a $1.2 million grant. He is also a primary investigator overseeing the military's only spine biomechanics program. During his career, he has served as director of the complex spine service, director of spine surgery and chief of neurosurgery at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He has collaborated with other spine surgeons on developing new surgical technique and spent time serving military members in Iraq, where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Metal. Dr. Rosner completed his medical degree at Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his residency in neurological surgery at Walter Reed. His additional training includes a fellowship in complex spinal deformity at Northwestern University Medical Center in Chicago.

Frank Schwab, MD (Orthospine, New York City).
Dr. Schwab is the chief of the spinal deformity service and a clinical associate professor at New York University School of Medicine in New York City. He has previously served as director of the spine center, orthopedic research and residency education at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. During his career, Dr. Schwab has maintained membership in several professional societies, including the North American spine Society, Scoliosis Research Society and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He has also served on the board of directors for the Spinal Deformity Education Group. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Schwab has also been dedicated to research projects such as a multi-center analysis of pedicle subtraction osteotomy of spinal deformity in adults and the development of an effective treatment algorithm based upon outcomes analysis. Dr. Schwab earned his medical degree at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at The New York Orthopaedic Hospital at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. His additional training includes an advanced spinal training program at Maimonides Medical Center.

This list highlights 10 spine and neurosurgeons who are involved in complex spinal deformity correction surgery and research. This is not a list of "top" surgeons in the field and inclusion on this list is not an endorsement of any individual's or organization's clinical abilities.

If you would like to recommend a spine surgeon leader to highlight in future weekly lists, please e-mail Laura at laura@beckersasc.com.


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