Christopher Witiw


Associate Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute


Christopher Witiw entered the neurosurgery residency program at the University of Toronto after completing his MD at the University of Manitoba in 2012. During his residency he completed a MS degree with a focus on Health Economics at The University of Chicago after receiving an award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. His thesis on the value of surgery for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Paper Award from the North American Spine Society in 2016. He has received numerous other awards including the Shafie S. Fazel Outstanding Resident Surgeon and Investigator Award from the University of Toronto Department of Surgery and the Alan R. Hudson Neurosurgery Resident Teaching Award from the University of Toronto Division of Neurosurgery. After obtaining his FRCSC in Neurosurgery in 2018, Chris undertook a subspecialty fellowship in Complex and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Chris returns to Toronto as a Surgeon Investigator at St. Michael’s Hospital where his clinical work is directed toward treating the full spectrum of spinal disorders. He has a specific interest in minimally invasive approaches to spinal conditions. Chris’ research work is centered on Health Economics and Health Services pertinent to spinal pathology and he is especially interested in ‘big data’ analytics as a means to optimize efficiency and quality of spine surgery.

Recent Publications

  1. Kimchi, G, Greenberg, G, Traynelis, VC, Witiw, CD, Knoller, N, Harel, R et al.. Integrity of the tectorial membrane is a favorable prognostic factor in atlanto-occipital dislocation. Br J Neurosurg. 2020; :1-5. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2020.1761292. PubMed PMID:32368931 .
  2. Badhiwala, JH, Platt, A, Witiw, CD, Traynelis, VC. Cervical disc arthroplasty versus anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: a meta-analysis of rates of adjacent-level surgery to 7-year follow-up. J Spine Surg. 2020;6 (1):217-232. doi: 10.21037/jss.2019.12.09. PubMed PMID:32309660 PubMed Central PMC7154351.
  3. Schomacher, M, Jiang, F, Alrjoub, M, Witiw, CD, Diamandis, P, Fehlings, MG et al.. The posterior cervical transdural approach for retro-odontoid mass pseudotumor resection: report of three cases and discussion of the current literature. Eur Spine J. 2020; :. doi: 10.1007/s00586-020-06405-8. PubMed PMID:32296950 .
  4. Wilson, JR, Cronin, S, Fehlings, MG, Kwon, BK, Badhiwala, JH, Ginsberg, HJ et al.. Epidemiology and Impact of Spinal Cord Injury in the Elderly: Results of a Fifteen-Year Population-Based Cohort Study. J. Neurotrauma. 2020; :. doi: 10.1089/neu.2020.6985. PubMed PMID:32292120 .
  5. Khan, O, Badhiwala, JH, Witiw, CD, Wilson, JR, Fehlings, MG. Machine learning algorithms for prediction of health-related quality-of-life after surgery for mild degenerative cervical myelopathy. Spine J. 2020; :. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2020.02.003. PubMed PMID:32045708 .
  6. Badhiwala, JH, Ahuja, CS, Akbar, MA, Witiw, CD, Nassiri, F, Furlan, JC et al.. Degenerative cervical myelopathy - update and future directions. Nat Rev Neurol. 2020;16 (2):108-124. doi: 10.1038/s41582-019-0303-0. PubMed PMID:31974455 .
  7. Witiw, CD, Smieliauskas, F, Ham, SA, Traynelis, VC. Cervical disc replacement: examining "real-world" utilization of an emerging technology. J Neurosurg Spine. 2020; :1-7. doi: 10.3171/2019.10.SPINE19919. PubMed PMID:31952042 .
  8. Wilson, JR, Witiw, CD, Badhiwala, J, Kwon, BK, Fehlings, MG, Harrop, JS et al.. Early Surgery for Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Where Are We Now?. Global Spine J. 2020;10 (1 Suppl):84S-91S. doi: 10.1177/2192568219877860. PubMed PMID:31934526 PubMed Central PMC6947677.
  9. Mikhail, C, Pennington, Z, Arnold, PM, Brodke, DS, Chapman, JR, Chutkan, N et al.. Minimizing Blood Loss in Spine Surgery. Global Spine J. 2020;10 (1 Suppl):71S-83S. doi: 10.1177/2192568219868475. PubMed PMID:31934525 PubMed Central PMC6947684.
  10. Witiw, CD, Wilson, JR, Fehlings, MG, Traynelis, VC. Ambulatory Surgical Centers: Improving Quality of Operative Spine Care?. Global Spine J. 2020;10 (1 Suppl):29S-35S. doi: 10.1177/2192568219849391. PubMed PMID:31934517 PubMed Central PMC6947680.
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Affiliations & Other Activities

Assistant Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto