Research & Publications †
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Robert McLain, MD, is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon with expertise in adult and pediatric spinal deformities, low back pain, infections, trauma, and tumors of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Recruited to the Clinic in 1997, Dr. McLain is trained in both microsurgical and minimally invasive techniques and has taught techniques in surgical arthroplasty of both the neck and the lumbar spine. Before coming to Cleveland Clinic, Dr. McLain was Director of the Spine Care Center at the University of California, Davis, and Chairman of the Back and Neck Subcommittee for the Musculoskeletal Center of Excellence at UC Davis.
In addition to his busy clinical practice, Dr. McLain is recognized as one of the outstanding researchers in the area of spinal disease and reconstruction, and directs the Spine Research Program at Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. McLain has written over 170 articles for scientific journals and textbooks, and he serves as an Associate Editor for Spine, the international journal for spine surgery. In 1992 he was awarded the North American Traveling Fellowship, and in 1995 he received the prestigious American-British-Canadian Exchange Fellowship of the American Orthopaedic Association.
Dr. McLain is a member of the North American Spine Society, the Scoliosis Research Society, the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, the American Orthopaedic Association, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery.
d back surgery and care of orthopaedic and spinal fractures, surgery for disorders of the neck, surgery of the adult and pediatric spine, hip and knee replacement, hip and knee surgery, hip and knee total joint replacement revisions and infections, Hip joint replacement
Innovations & Patents
Provisional Patent: Composite Hydrogel Artificial Disc: A Nucleus Pulposis Prosthesis
The invention is a polymer composite nucleus pulposis replacement for the human intervertebral disc, consisting of a flexible foam scaffold impregnated with a more viscous hydrophilic polymer. The foam scaffold provides a three dimensional structure that conforms to the area within the operated intervertebral disc which is intended to be filled by hydrophilic matrix. Patent Awarded 2003
Provisional Patent: 60/784,232: Cannulated Probe for Transpedicular Aspiration of Autologous Osteoprogenitor Stem Cells
A unique probe design allows transpedicular aspiration of marrow elements including osteoprogenitor stem cells used in spine fusion augmentation. The probe will simultaneously create a pilot hole for pedicle screw instrumentation and provide access to the rich marrow beds contained within the vertebral bodies.
Provisional Patent: Unilateral Anterior Cervical Plate.
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receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, the Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.
As of 8/2/2013, Dr. McLain has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by the Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about the Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.
Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias. * Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.