Spine Research

In the clinics and operating rooms, our Stanford pediatric spine team provides exceptional care to children with spine conditions. Furthermore,  as researchers the pediatric spine physicians continually evaluate treatment options, develop new models for care, and collaborate with both U.S. based and international institutions to improve the ways in which we, as a community of health care providers, care for spine conditions. We recognize the importance of ethically conducting and critically understanding research to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care.

Registries and Chart Reviews

Surgical Techniques Research

Health Mindset Research

Additional Research

Stanford Medicine Children's Healthcare Director of Scoliosis & Spine Deformity Surgery & Research, Stanford (2022 - Present)


  • Complication risks and costs associated with Ponte osteotomies in surgical treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: insights from a national database. Spine deformity Shaheen, M., Koltsov, J. C., Cohen, S. A., Langner, J. L., Kaur, J., Segovia, N. A., Vorhies, J. S. 2022


    PURPOSE: Risks of Ponte osteotomies (POs) used for posterior spinal fusion (PSF) for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) are challenging to assess because of the rarity of complications. Using a national administrative claims database, we evaluated trends, costs and complications associated with PO used in PSF for AIS patients.METHODS: Using ICD-9/CPT codes, we identified patients (ages 10-18) with AIS who underwent PSF (±PO) between 2007 and 2015 in the IBM MarketScan Commercial Databases. Costs and trends of POs were evaluated. Odds of neurological complications and readmissions within 90days and reoperations within 90days and 2years were assessed.RESULTS: We identified 8881 AIS patients who had undergone PSF, of which 8193 had 90-day follow-up and 4248 had 2-year follow-up. Overall, 28.8% had PO. Annual rate of POs increased from 17.3 to 35.2% from 2007 to 2015 (p<0.001). Risk-adjusted multivariable logistic regression demonstrated no relationship between POs and neurologic complications (p=0.543). POs were associated with higher odds for readmission (1.52 [1.21-1.91]; p<0.001) and reoperation (2.03 [1.13-3.59]; p=0.015) within 90days, but there were no differences in the odds of reoperation within 2years (p=0.836). Median hospital costs were

  • Systemic lidocaine absorption from continuous erector spinae plane catheters after paediatric posterior spine fusion surgery. Regional anesthesia and pain medicine Pan, S., Lee, C. K., Caruso, T. J., Vorhies, J. S., Tsui, B. C. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1136/rapm-2021-103234

    View details for PubMedID 35012993

  • Does Navigation Make Spinal Fusion for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Safer? Insights From a National Database. Spine Kaur, J., Koltsov, J. C., Kwong, J. W., Cheng, I., Vorhies, J. S. 2021; 46 (19): E1049-E1057


    STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective Cohort.OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of computer-assisted navigation (NAV) on rates of complications and reoperations after spinal fusion (SF) for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) using a nationally representative claims database.SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Significant controversy surrounds the reported benefits of NAV in SF for AIS. Previous studies have demonstrated decreased rates of pedicle screw breaches with NAV compared to free-hand methods but no impact on complication rates. Thus, the clinical utility of NAV remains uncertain.METHODS: Analyses were performed using the IBM MarketScan databases. Patients aged 10 to 18 undergoing SF for AIS were grouped by use of NAV. Patients with nonidiopathic scoliosis were excluded. Univariate and risk-adjusted multivariate analyses were performed. Primary outcomes were neurological complications, any medical complications, and reoperations. Secondary outcomes included adjusted total reimbursements and length of stay.RESULTS: A total of 12,046 patients undergoing SF for AIS were identified, and 8640 had 90-day follow-up. NAV was used in 467 patients (5.4%), increasing from 2007 to 2015. After risk adjustment, the odds for any complication within 90 days were lower with NAV (OR = 0.61, P = 0.025), but neurological complications were unrelated to NAV (P = 0.742). NAV was not associated with reoperation within 90 days (P = 0.757) or 2 years (P = 0.095). We observed a

  • Remodeling of Sagittal Plane Malunion After Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures. Journal of pediatric orthopedics Gamble, J. G., Vorhies, J. S. 2021; 41 (8): e700-e701

    View details for DOI 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001912

    View details for PubMedID 34397787

  • The Utility of Intraoperative Arthrogram in the Management of Pediatric Lateral Condyle Fractures of the Humerus ORTHOPEDICS Vorhies, J., Funk, S., Elliott, M., Riccio, A., Ramo, B. 2020; 43 (1): 30–35


    Intraoperative arthrograms are commonly used in conjunction with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning (CRPP) of pediatric lateral condyle fractures of the humerus. The authors sought to determine how arthrograms affect management of these fractures. They reviewed all lateral condyle fractures treated surgically at a pediatric level I trauma center from 2008 to 2014. They stratified patients managed with and without an arthrogram as well as by timing of arthrogram. The authors compared injury parameters, initial and postoperative fracture displacement, and complications between groups. They identified 107 patients who were taken to the operating room for attempted closed reduction, which they classified as either CRPP without arthrogram or arthrogram first and then a decision to treat open or with CRPP. Fifty-eight (54.21%) underwent CRPP without arthrogram and 49 (45.79%) underwent arthrogram. Of those who had arthrograms, 27 (25.23%) were prior to fixation and 22 (20.56%) were after fixation. There was no difference in age, weight, or preoperative displacement among the groups. Mean postoperative displacement was significantly lower in the no arthrogram group vs the arthrogram group (0.91 mm vs 1.68 mm; P<.0001), but it did not differ based on timing of arthrogram (P=.836). Arthrograms changed management in 4 (8%) of 49 patients who had them. There was no statistical difference in the rate of changed management by timing of arthrogram (before vs after fixation, 14.8% vs 0%; P=.060). The authors demonstrated that arthrograms may be useful for assessing final fracture alignment after CRPP, but are unlikely to result in a treatment change and are not associated with improved postoperative alignment. [Orthopedics. 2020; 43(1):30-35.].

    View details for DOI 10.3928/01477447-20191031-01

    View details for Web of Science ID 000508434100015

    View details for PubMedID 31693741

  • Posterior Sternoclavicular Dislocation: Do We Need "Cardiothoracic Backup"? Insights from a National Sample. Journal of orthopaedic trauma Leonard, D. A., Segovia, N., Kaur, J., Lucas, J., Bishop, J., Vorhies, J. S. 2019


    OBJECTIVES: To describe the incidence of and risk factors for vascular injury associated with P-SCD.METHODS: We used data from the HCUP-NIS from 2015-2016 and defined a cohort of patients with sternoclavicular dislocation (SCD) using ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes. We further isolated a subset with P-SCD. We describe the incidence of thoracic vascular injury, demographics and injury severity score (ISS) in this cohort.RESULTS: Of an estimated 550 patients who had SCD, 140 (25%) were identified as having a P-SCD. No vascular injuries occurred in the P-SCD cohort. Among all patients with SCD, < 2% of patients had a vascular injury, all of whom had an ISS ≥ 15, independent of the vascular injury itself (Figure 1). Among patients with an isolated P-SCD injury (55), overall length of stay was 1.8 days and total charges averaged

  • Moving toward patients being pain- and spasm-free after pediatric scoliosis surgery by using bilateral surgically-placed erector spinae plane catheters. Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anesthesie Tsui, B. C., Esfahanian, M. n., Lin, C. n., Policy, J. n., Vorhies, J. n. 2019

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12630-019-01543-0

    View details for PubMedID 31776896

Faculty Contact

Dr. John Vorhies

Research Contact

Marleni Albarran