U.Va. Spine Surgeons Deemed Among Best in North America

October 20, 2014

University of Virginia neurosurgeons Dr. Chris Shaffrey and Dr. Justin Smith have been named among the 18 best spine surgeons in North America.

The distinction comes from Orthopedics This Week, and is based on a survey of what the publication calls “thought leaders in the field.”

Shaffrey and Smith were the only spine surgeons in Virginia honored by the publication. The report declares the 18 are “arguably the finest spine physicians, teachers, investigators or administrators in the country.”

Calling him an “internationally regarded spine surgeon,” one survey respondent said that Shaffrey had “particular expertise in complex deformity surgery and is known for handling the tough cases.”

In 2013, Orthopedics This Week called Shaffrey one of the North America’s top 28 spine surgeons, as well.

“It is always a great honor to be recognized by our peers,” Shaffrey said. “Considering that two surgeons from U.Va. were recognized, I feel it is really a reflection of the great spine care and research efforts by all the providers at the U.Va. Spine Center.”

Shaffrey is board-certified in both neurological surgery and orthopedic surgery and serves as the Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgery at U.Va. He is also the director of U.Va.’s neurosurgery spine division.

Smith, co-director of the U.Va. Spine Center, was lauded as a rising star by his peers.

“He is one of the top young spinal researchers in the U.S.,” said one survey respondent. “He is a prolific writer who is widely published and making an impact in spine. At the rate he is going, he is destined to become one of the top leaders in spine surgery in five to 10 years.”

Smith is also an associate professor of neurosurgery and co-director of the neurosurgery spine division at U.Va.

“I am truly honored to be recognized by my peers and to be listed among many of the giants in spine surgery,” Smith said. “I look forward to continuing to advance the care of patients with spinal disorders through practice and research.”

Shaffrey and Smith are both part of the multidisciplinary team at the U.Va. Spine Center. The specialists at the center provide patients with comprehensive treatment options, including physical therapy, braces and a full range of surgical procedures. The care team includes neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pain management specialists, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists and radiologists.

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