Team Approach: Safety and Value in the Practice of Complex Adult Spinal Surgery.


Surgical management of complex adult spinal deformities is of high risk, with a substantial risk of operative mortality. Current evidence shows that potential risk and morbidity resulting from surgery for complex spinal deformity may be minimized through risk-factor optimization. The multidisciplinary team care model includes neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, physiatrists, anesthesiologists, hospitalists, psychologists, physical therapists, specialized physician assistants, and nurses. The multidisciplinary care model mimics previously described integrated care pathways designed to offer a structured means of providing a comprehensive preoperative medical evaluation and evidence-based multimodal perioperative care. The role of each team member is illustrated in the case of a 66-year-old male patient with previous incomplete spinal cord injury, now presenting with Charcot spinal arthropathy and progressive vertebral-body destruction resulting in lumbar kyphosis.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Sethi, Rajiv K, Anna K Wright, Venu M Nemani, Helen A Bean, Andrew S Friedman, Jean-Christophe A Leveque, Quinlan D Buchlak, Christopher I Shaffrey, et al. (2020). Team Approach: Safety and Value in the Practice of Complex Adult Spinal Surgery. JBJS reviews, 8(4). p. e0145. 10.2106/jbjs.rvw.19.00145 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Christopher Ignatius Shaffrey

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

I have more than 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages with spinal disorders. I have had an interest in the management of spinal disorders since starting my medical education. I performed residencies in both orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire range of spinal disorders. My goal has been to find innovative ways to manage the range of spinal conditions, straightforward to complex. I have a focus on managing patients with complex spinal disorders. My patient evaluation and management philosophy is to provide engaged, compassionate care that focuses on providing the simplest and least aggressive treatment option for a particular condition. In many cases, non-operative treatment options exist to improve a patient’s symptoms. I have been actively engaged in clinical research to find the best ways to manage spinal disorders in order to achieve better results with fewer complications.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.