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



Exploring perioperative complications of anterior lumber interbody fusion in patients with a history of prior abdominal surgery: A retrospective cohort study. Momin AA, Barksdale EM 3rd, Lone Z, Enders JJ, Nowacki AS, Winkelman RD, Krantz M, Hardy DM, Steinmetz MP.  Spine J. 2020;20(7):1037-1043.

Enhanced Recovery in Spine Surgery and Perioperative Pain Management. Chakravarthy V, Yokoi H, Manlapaz MR, Krishnaney AA. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2020;31(1):81-91.

Epidemiology, Treatment, and Performance-Based Outcomes in American Professional Baseball Players With Symptomatic Spondylolysis and Isthmic Spondylolisthesis. Gould HP, Winkelman RD, Tanenbaum JE, Hu E, Haines CM, Hsu WK, Kalfas IH, Savage JW, Schickendantz MS, Mroz TE. Am J Sports Med. 2020;48(11):2765-2773.

The Association of Preoperative TNF-Alpha Inhibitor Use and Reoperation Rates in Spinal Fusion Surgery. Gaudiani M, Winkelman R, Ravishankar P, Rabah NM, Coughlin D, Mroz TE. Spine J. 2021 Feb 2:S1529-9430(21)00053-X.

The Impact of Preoperative Depression on Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey Results in a Cervical Spine Surgery Setting. Levin JM, Rabah NM, Winkelman RD, Mroz TE, Steinmetz MP. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2020;45(1):65-70.

Clinical assessment and management of Bertolotti Syndrome: A review of the literature. McGrath K, Schmidt E, Rabah NM, Abubakr M, Steinmetz MP. Spine J. 2021 Mar 3:S1529-9430(21)00111-X.

Effect of Ventral vs Dorsal Spinal Surgery on Patient-Reported Physical Functioning in Patients With Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Ghogawala Z, Terrin N, Dunbar MR, Breeze JL, Freund KM, Kanter AS, Mummaneni PV, Bisson EF, Barker FG 2nd, Schwartz JS, Harrop JS, Magge SN, Heary RF, Fehlings MG, Albert TJ, Arnold PM, Riew KD, Steinmetz MP, Wang MC, Whitmore RG, Heller JG, Benzel EC. JAMA. 2021;325(10):942–951.

Late-week surgery and discharge to specialty care associated with higher costs and longer lengths of stay after elective lumbar laminectomy. Salas-Vega S, Chakravarthy VB, Winkelman RD, Grabowski MM, Habboub G, Savage JW, Steinmetz MP, Mroz TE. J Neurosurg Spine. 2021 Apr 6:1-7.

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
Ghaith Habboub, MD
Kush Goyal, MD

CCF Residents

Swetha Sundar, MD
Akshay Sharma, MD
Arpan Patel, MD
Robert Winkelman, MD, MS
Anas Minkara, MD

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

Wyatt Anderson
Karam Atli
Nicholas Bank
Edward Barksdale III
Robert Burkhart
Jeffrey Coombs
Ansh Desai
Tiffany Ejikeme
Jacob Enders
Michael Gaudiani
Joshua Golubovsky
Omar Hamza
Mina Huerta
Kevin Johnson
Nicole Keller
Hammad Khan
Mark Kodsy
Tyler Kristoff
Isaac Lapite
Uma Mahajan
Marquis Maynard
Kyle McGrath
Ryan McNassor
Mark Megerian
Nicholas Rabah
Andrew Ronald
Vineeth Sadda
Sebastian Salas-Vega
Sami Saniei
Karrington Seals
Jenny Shao
Michael Shost
Jacob Sinopoli
Alex Sobotie
Shaarada Srivatsa
Henry Stitzel
Sasha White
Luke Wooster
Stephanie Wottrich
Jennifer Yang
Hana Yokoi


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