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



Morphometric and volumetric analysis of the lateral masses of the lower cervical spine. Abdullah KG, Steinmetz MP, Mroz TE. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Jun 15;34(14):1476-9.

Translaminar screw fixation in the subaxial cervical spine: quantitative laminar analysis and feasibility of unilateral and bilateral translaminar virtual screw placement. Alvin MD, Abdullah KG, Steinmetz MP, Lubelski D, Nowacki AS, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012 May 20;37(12):E745-51.

Radiation exposure to the spine surgeon in lumbar and thoracolumbar fusions with the use of an intraoperative computed tomographic 3-dimensional imaging system. Abdullah KG, Bishop FS, Lubelski D, Steinmetz MP, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012 Aug 1;37(17):E1074-8.

Predicting C5 palsy via the use of preoperative anatomic measurements. Lubelski D, Derakhshan A, Nowacki AS, Wang JC, Steinmetz MP, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Spine J. 2014 Sep 1;14(9):1895-901.

The impact of preoperative depression on quality of life outcomes after lumbar surgery. Miller JA, Derakhshan A, Lubelski D, Alvin MD, McGirt MJ, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Spine J. 2015 Jan 1;15(1):58-64.

The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on the Utilization of Spinal Imaging.Derakhshan A, Miller J, Lubelski D, Nowacki AS, Wells BJ, Milinovich A, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, Steinmetz MP. Neurosurgery. 2015 Nov;77(5):746-53;

Predisposing Characteristics of Adjacent Segment Disease After Lumbar Fusion. Alentado VJ, Lubelski D, Healy AT, Orr RD, Steinmetz MP, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 Jul 15;41(14):1167-72

Independent predictors of a clinically significant improvement after lumbar fusion surgery. Alentado VJ, Caldwell S, Gould HP, Steinmetz MP, Benzel EC, Mroz TE.   Spine J. 2017 Feb;17(2):236-243.

The impact of diabetes upon quality of life outcomes after lumbar decompression. Silverstein MP, Miller JA, Xiao R, Lubelski D, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Spine J. 2016 Jun;16(6):714-21.

Impact of Preoperative Depression on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey Results in a Lumbar Fusion Population. Levin JM, Winkelman RD, Smith GA, Tanenbaum JE, Benzel EC, Mroz TE, Steinmetz MP.  Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 May 1;42(9):675-681.

Members & Collaborations

Members & Collaborations

Center for Spine Health Faculty

Thomas Mroz, MD
Michael Steinmetz, MD
Edward Benzel, MD
Ajit Krishnaney, MD
Iain Kalfas, MD
Jason Savage, MD
Douglas Orr, MD
Dominic Pelle, MD
Kush Goyal, MD

CCF Residents

Bryan Lee, MD
Ghaith Habboub, MD
Ryan Berger, MD
Nick Arnold, MD
Uche Davidson, MD
Haariss Ilyas, MD
Swetha Sundar, MD
Akshay Sharma, MD

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine Students

Joseph Tanenbaum, PhD
Jay Levin
Bob Winkelman
Emily Hu
Stephanie Kha
Michael Robbe
Caroline Vonck
Leonard Keller
Chelsea Wright
Logan Ernst
Hilary Koech
Eric Herring
Pierre Tamer
Matthew Peck
Alex Cantrell
Collin Blackburn
Naveen Jasty
Kelsey Goon
Kelsey Isbester
Richard Lee
Maheen Nadeem
Jenny Shao
Benjamin Yao
Spencer Boyle
Joshua Golubovsky
Rod Shayesteh
Konrad Knusel
Karam Atli
Hana Yokoi
Hammad Khan
Nicholas Rabah
David Waston
Sebastian Salas


Kalil Abdullah, MD
Daniel Lubelski, MD
Vincent Alentado, MD
Jacob Miller, MD
Erik Tye, MD
Heath Gould, MD