The advent of large national patient registries has enabled researchers to better understand the population-level characteristics of diseases and their associated treatments.  Large databases, such as the National Inpatient Sample and National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, are well suited to study topics such as risk factors for adverse patient outcomes following surgery or regional and demographic variations in resource utilization. Partnering with biostatisticians from Case Western Reserve University, the Center for Spine Health (CSH) research group has utilized large databases to study the characteristics of spine patients as well as global trends in the delivery of spine care.

Examples of previous study designs have included:

  • Identifying national treatment trends in spine surgery
  • Identifying risk factors associated with adverse outcomes in spine care
  • Assessing effects of health policy change on spine care

The Large Database Research Group 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



Musculoskeletal allograft risks and recalls in the United States. Mroz TE, Joyce MJ, Steinmetz MP, Lieberman IH, Wang JC. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2008 Oct;16(10):559-65.

Predictors of outcomes and hospital charges following atlantoaxial fusion. Tanenbaum JE, Lubelski D, Rosenbaum BP, Thompson NR, Benzel EC, Mroz TE.   Spine J. 2016 May;16(5):608-18

Association between insurance status and patient safety in the lumbar spine fusion population. Tanenbaum JE, Alentado VJ, Miller JA, Lubelski D, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Spine J. 2017 Mar;17(3):338-345c

Insurance status and reportable quality metrics in the cervical spine fusion population. Tanenbaum JE, Miller JA, Alentado VJ, Lubelski D, Rosenbaum BP, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Spine J. 2017 Jan;17(1):62-69

The association of inflammatory bowel disease and immediate postoperative outcomes following lumbar fusion. Tanenbaum JE, Kha ST, Benzel EC, Steinmetz MP, Mroz TE. Spine J. 2018 Jul;18(7):1157-1165.

Short-term outcomes following posterior cervical fusion among octogenarians with cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a NSQIP database analysis. Vonck CE, Tanenbaum JE, Bomberger TT, Benzel EC, Savage JW, Kalfas IH, Mroz TE, Steinmetz MP. Spine J. 2018 Feb 14. pii: S1529-9430(18)30069-X.

What provides a better value for your time? The use of relative value units to compare posterior segmental instrumentation of vertebral segments. Orr RD, Sodhi N, Dalton SE, Khlopas A, Sultan AA, Chughtai M, Newman JM, Savage J, Mroz TE, Mont MA. Spine J. 2018 Feb 2. pii: S1529-9430(18)30029-9.

Members & Collaborations

Members & Collaborations

Center for Spine Health Faculty

Thomas Mroz, MD
Michael Steinmetz, MD
Edward Benzel, MD
Jason Savage, MD
Douglas Orr, MD

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

Joseph Tanenbaum, PhD
Caroline Vonck


Daniel Lubelski, MD
Jacob Miller, MD