Posts by Thomas D. Cha, MD, MBA
Upper and Lower Cervical Spine Regions Move Differently During Head Rotation
Orthopedic surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital found that in asymptomatic women, the upper and lower cervical regions have distinct motion characteristics during dynamic axial head rotation. This finding has implications for pre- and postoperative evaluations and improving treatment techniques.
Osteoporosis Is Underrecognized, Undertreated Among Adults with Spinal Deformity Undergoing Long Fusion
In a retrospective study, spinal surgeons from Massachusetts General Hospital determined that one-third of adults scheduled for long thoracolumbar spinal fusions had osteoporosis before surgery, with two-thirds of those patients receiving no pharmacologic treatment.
Efforts to Standardize Spinal Stenosis Treatment Should Target Certain Patient Groups
A retrospective study at Massachusetts General Hospital shows that even within a single institution, there is wide variation in the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis, and efforts to improve quality should focus on three specific patient groups.
Real-time CT Guidance Minimizes Complications of Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy at Cervicothoracic Junction
Surgeons at Mass General have demonstrated that intraoperative CT-guided navigation minimizes complications associated with inadequate surgical visualization during pedicle subtraction osteotomy at the cervicothoracic junction.
Adding Fusion to Decompression for Synovial Facet Cysts Does Not Influence Symptom Recurrence
Synovial cysts are often associated with spinal instability. Adding fusion to decompression surgery might improve outcomes, but previous studies of that approach have yielded contradictory results. Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons examined hundreds of patient records to find answers.
Information Technology Key to Integrating Decision Aids into Fee-for-Service Orthopedic Practice
Shared decision-making about orthopedic surgery has become the norm, and patient decision aids are effective for supporting the process. Yet no published studies have examined how to integrate decision aids into fee-for-service systems. The Massachusetts General Hospital orthopedic group gathered data that provide guidance.
Approach from Convex Side May Improve Vessel Protection During Lateral Access Surgery for Adult Scoliosis
Lack of direct visualization can lead to devastating vascular complications during minimally invasive lateral access surgery for thoracolumbar scoliosis. Vessel overlap with disk spaces in this setting has never been quantified. Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons investigated and offer clinical pearls for protecting the vessels.
Cervical Disc Deformation Can Change Substantially During Neck Flexion-extension
The majority of adults have cervical disc disease by age 65, but patterns of cervical disc deformation have not been well studied. Mass General researchers imaged volunteers during flexion-extension of the neck, and their findings may have implications for improving motion-preservation surgeries.
Spinal Cord Injury Common After Traumatic Spinal Fracture in Patients with AS or DISH
Orthopedic surgeons at Mass General found spinal cord injury (SCI) to be a common and serious complication of traumatic spinal fracture in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH).
Length of Activity Restriction After Lumbar Discectomy Does Not Affect Recovery
How soon after lumbar discectomy can patients return to full activity? Mass General surgeons were involved in the first prospective, randomized, controlled trial to examine this question.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: Enhancing Clinical Outcomes
Less invasive spine procedures can reduce adverse events and improve clinical outcomes, taking advantage of new imaging technologies and protocols.
How Prevalent is Spinal Epidural Lipomatosis on Magnetic Resonance Imaging?
First large-scale study of spinal MRIs reveals a prevalence of spinal epidural lipomatosis (SEL) of 2.5%.
Dr. Thomas Cha is a board-certified, fellowship trained spine surgeon in the comprehensive Spine Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Cha received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University majoring in molecular biology. He then received his MD and MBA from the Drexel University College of Medicine jointly with the Lebow School of Business. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the New York Orthopaedic Hospital - Columbia University Medical Center serving as a chief resident his final year.
Dr. Cha went on to receive specialized training in spinal surgery at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago under the guidance of world renowned leaders in the field of spine surgery. There he developed the interest and expertise in caring for patients with complex disorders of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.