Christopher Witiw




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. Burkhardt, BW, Kerolus, MG, Witiw, CD, Oertel, JM, Fessler, RG. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion with a dynamic translational plating versus a rigid carbon fiber reinforced PEEK plating system - a comparison study of radiographic parameters. Br J Neurosurg. 2021; :1-5. doi: 10.1080/02688697.2021.1976394. PubMed PMID:34524041 .
  2. Chan, V, Witiw, CD, Wilson, JR, Wilson, JR, Coyte, P, Fehlings, MG et al.. Frailty is an Important Predictor of 30-day Morbidity in Patients Treated for Lumbar Spondylolisthesis Using a Posterior Surgical Approach. Spine J. 2021; :. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2021.08.008. PubMed PMID:34500077 .
  3. Balas, M, Prömmel, P, Nguyen, L, Jack, A, Lebovic, G, Badhiwala, JH et al.. The Reality of Accomplishing Surgery Within 24 hours for Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: Clinical Practices and Safety. J Neurotrauma. 2021; :. doi: 10.1089/neu.2021.0177. PubMed PMID:34382411 .
  4. Moses, ZB, Razvi, S, Oh, SY, Platt, A, Keegan, KC, Hamati, F et al.. A retrospective comparison of radiographic and clinical outcomes in single-level degenerative lumbar disease undergoing anterior versus transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. J Spine Surg. 2021;7 (2):170-180. doi: 10.21037/jss-20-673. PubMed PMID:34296029 PubMed Central PMC8261555.
  5. Badhiwala, JH, Lebovic, G, Balas, M, da Costa, L, Nathens, AB, Fehlings, MG et al.. Variability in time to surgery for patients with acute thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries. Sci Rep. 2021;11 (1):13312. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-92310-z. PubMed PMID:34172757 PubMed Central PMC8233434.
  6. Woodward, J, Malone, H, Witiw, CD, Kolcun, JPG, Koro, L, Keegan, KC et al.. Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion using a novel minimally invasive expandable interbody cage: patient-reported outcomes and radiographic parameters. J Neurosurg Spine. 2021; :1-7. doi: 10.3171/2020.11.SPINE201139. PubMed PMID:34087790 .
  7. Merali, Z, Wang, JZ, Badhiwala, JH, Witiw, CD, Wilson, JR, Fehlings, MG et al.. A deep learning model for detection of cervical spinal cord compression in MRI scans. Sci Rep. 2021;11 (1):10473. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-89848-3. PubMed PMID:34006910 PubMed Central PMC8131597.
  8. Balas, M, Guttman, MP, Badhiwala, JH, Lebovic, G, Nathens, AB, da Costa, L et al.. Earlier Surgery Reduces Complications in Acute Traumatic Thoracolumbar Spinal Cord Injury: Analysis of a Multi-Center Cohort of 4108 Patients. J Neurotrauma. 2021; :. doi: 10.1089/neu.2020.7525. PubMed PMID:33724051 .
  9. Kerolus, MG, Yerneni, K, Witiw, CD, Shelton, A, Canar, WJ, Daily, D et al.. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Pathway for Single-Level Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Decreases Length of Stay and Opioid Consumption. Neurosurgery. 2021;88 (3):648-657. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyaa493. PubMed PMID:33469652 .
  10. Badhiwala, JH, Wilson, JR, Witiw, CD, Harrop, JS, Vaccaro, AR, Aarabi, B et al.. The influence of timing of surgical decompression for acute spinal cord injury: a pooled analysis of individual patient data. Lancet Neurol. 2021;20 (2):117-126. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30406-3. PubMed PMID:33357514 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

Assistant Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto