Each CCF patient encounter generates hundreds, if not thousands, of data points in a patient’s electronic health record (EHR). The Center for Spine Health (CSH) research group is using these data to study important questions in order to better understand and improve the quality of spine care. In addition to EHR data from one of the highest volume spine centers in the country, the CSH has access to prospectively collected patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures as part of the Knowledge Program. This PRO database provides patient-level information that enables CSH researchers to learn how spine diseases and treatments are affecting patients’ quality of life. The CSH research group has leveraged these resources to conduct studies across a wide array of spine pathologies and interventions.

Examples of previous study designs have included:

  • Comparing surgical devices/approaches effect on patient outcomes
  • Determining cost-effectiveness of medical and surgical interventions
  • Identifying risk-factors associated with adverse patient outcomes following spine surgery

Our team is comprised of researchers at all levels of training from both surgical and medical spine physicians and fellows to residents, medical students, and undergraduate students interested in spine health.

Contact person

Thomas Mroz, MD
Director, Spine Research
Cleveland Clinic



Mroz, T., Griffin, M., Cartabuke, R., Laffin, L., Russo-Alvarez, G., Thomas, G., ... & Habboub, G. (2024). Predicting hypertension control using machine learning. Plos one, 19(3), e0299932.

White, A. J., Nowacki, A. S., Woodrow, S. I., Steinmetz, M. P., & Benzil, D. L. (2024). Ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, and surgeon gender in spine surgery: a survey of practicing spine surgeons. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, 1(aop), 1-10.

Lapin, B., Davin, S., Stilphen, M., Johnson, J. K., Benzel, E., Habboub, G., & Katzan, I. L. (2023). Stratification of spine patients based on self-reported clinical symptom classes: Evaluation of long-term outcomes and subsequent interventions. North American Spine Society Journal (NASSJ), 14, 100205.

Srivatsa, S., Khan, H. A., Benzel, E. C., Benzil, D. L., Mroz, T. E., Steinmetz, M. P., & Salas-Vega, S. (2022). Price transparency in neurosurgery: challenges and opportunities in the online publishing of treatment prices to enable cost-conscious and value-based practice. World Neurosurgery, 162, e511-e516.

Khan, H. A., Rabah, N. M., Winkelman, R. D., Levin, J. M., Mroz, T. E., & Steinmetz, M. P. (2021). The impact of preoperative depression on patient satisfaction with spine surgeons in the outpatient setting. Spine, 46(3), 184-190.

Ghogawala, Z., Terrin, N., Dunbar, M. R., Breeze, J. L., Freund, K. M., Kanter, A. S., ... & Benzel, E. C. (2021). Effect of ventral vs dorsal spinal surgery on patient-reported physical functioning in patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a randomized clinical trial. Jama, 325(10), 942-951.

Rabah, N. M., Levin, J. M., Winkelman, R. D., Mroz, T. E., & Steinmetz, M. P. (2020). The association between physicians’ communication and patient-reported outcomes in spine surgery. Spine, 45(15), 1073-1080.

Members & Collaborations

Members & Collaborations

Center for Spine Health Faculty

Thomas Mroz, MD
Michael Steinmetz, MD
Edward Benzel, MD
Deborah Benzil, MD
Ajit Krishnaney, MD
Iain Kalfas, MD
Jason Savage, MD
Douglas Orr, MD
Dominic Pelle, MD
Richard Schlenk, MD
Ghaith Habboub, MD
Kush Goyal, MD
Megan Jack MD PhD
Mohamed Macki MD
Moayad Alabdulkarim, MD
William Clifton, MD
Jeremy Amps, MD

CCF Fellows

Paul Page MD
Parastou Fatemi MD
Joseph Driver, MD
Lauren Boden, MD
William Sheppard, MD
Taylor Paziuk, MD

CCF Residents

Akshay Sharma, MD
Arpan Patel, MD
Robert Winkelman, MD, MS
Gregory Glauser, MD
Daniel Lilly, MD
Mark Davidson, MD

Medical Students: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Student, NEOMED, Ohio University School of Osteopathic Medicine

Seth Meade
Gabrie Scariano
Noah Yaffe
Jakub Jarmula
Megan Sharpe
Michael Ramos
David Shin
Aakash Shah
Alan Gordillo
Mingda Chen
Jack Xiao
Jerry Shepard
John Francis
Sean Li
Akash Raju
Andrew Kim
Arman Zadeh
Christian Hecht
Joshua Wiener
Parshva Sanghvi
Nafis Eghrari
Monish Lavu
Penelope Halkiadakis
Orlando Martinez
Pratheek Makineni
Austin Kennemer
Jackie Frazier
Marcel Jean-Pierre
Shadae Nicholas
Sachin  Chirravuri
Vamsi Chodisetty
Warren Lee
Jamie Sheehan
Matt Margo
Julia Strasburg
George Nageeb
Mohammad Abubakr
Joshua Bruce

Cleveland Clinic Affiliations

Alison Stout, MD
Sarah Davin MD
Sarel Vorester MD
Pavan Tankha MD
Scott Portwood MD
Brittany Lapin PhD

External Relationships & Collaborations

Jacob Greenberg MD (Washington University in St. Louis)


Kalil Abdullah, MD
Daniel Lubelski, MD
Vincent Alentado, MD
Jacob Miller, MD
Erik Tye, MD
Heath Gould, MD
Joseph Tanenbaum, MD, PhD
Robert Winkelman, MD, MS
Swetha Sundar, MD
Anas Minkara, MD
Joshua Golubovsky, MD
Nicholas Rabah, MD
Kyle McGrath, MD
Sebastian Salas-Vega, MD PhD
Sasha White, MD
Karrington Seals, MD
Tiffany Ejikeme, MD
Shaarada Srivatsa, MD
Jeffrey Coombs, MD
Ansh Desai, MD
Jacob Enders, MD
Ryan McNassor, MD
Michael Shost, MD
Derrick Obiri-Yeboah, MD
Mark Megerian, MD
Jennifer Yang, MD
Sami Saniei, MD
Wyatt Anderson, MD
Karam Atli, MD
Nicholas Bank, MD
Edward Barksdale III, MD
Robert Burkhart, MD
Michael Gaudiani, MD
Omar Hamza, MD
Mina Huerta, MD
Kevin Johnson, MD
Nicole Keller, MD
Hammad Khan, MD
Mark Kodsy, MD
Tyler Kristoff, MD
Isaac Lapite, MD
Uma Mahajan, MD
Marquis Maynard, MD
Andrew Ronald, MD
Vineeth Sadda, MD
Jenny Shao, MD
Jacob Sinopoli, MD
Alex Sobotie, MD
Henry Stitzel, MD
Luke Wooster, MD
Stephanie Wottrich, MD
Hana Yokoi
Shiv Dewan
Toby Mao
Elise Hokr