Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD's portrait
Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD
Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA

About Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD

Dr. Christopher Shaffrey received board certification from both the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and the American Board of Neurosurgery in 1997. Currently, Dr. Shaffrey is Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia. 

Dr. Shaffrey is an active member of many professional medical organizations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the North American Spine Society, the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, and the Scoliosis Research Society. This very active and involved doctor is also listed in the year 2000 edition of Who's Who in America.

Dr. Shaffrey began his medical education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. As a recipient of a United States Navy Health Professions Scholarship, Dr. Shaffrey interned for a year as a general surgeon at the Naval Hospital of San Diego where he was awarded the Best Surgical Intern award. Dr. Shaffrey's residencies in neurosurgery and orthopaedic surgery were at the University of Virginia Medical Center where he received various awards including the Crutchfield-Thomason-Gage Award for his research presentations.

Since 1989, Dr. Shaffrey has contributed to scientific scholarship by presenting research at national and international meetings, publishing chapters in medical books, and consistently contributing scientific papers to premier medical journals counting Neurosurgery, Surgery, Journal of Neurotrauma, Clinical Orthopaedics, Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery Focus, Surgical Neurology, and Spine. In addition, Dr. Shaffrey is an editorial reviewer for the Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosugery, and the Journal of Trauma. Dr. Shaffrey has contributed numerous chapters to medical textbooks.

Articles Written by Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD

Scoliosis in Children

Scoliosis is a medical term taken from a Greek word meaning curvature. This disease often develops during childhood, and it causes the spine to curve laterally (to the side) to the left or right.

Exams and Tests for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Your doctor may run several exams and tests while trying to diagnose ankylosing spondylitis.

Non-surgical Treatments for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Exercise can bring pain relief and keep your spinal joints mobile. Your doctor may prescribe medications for inflammation. Other options are explained, too.

Surgery for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Read about the situations where surgery may be recommended and what procedures surgeons use for AS. Also includes tips for an easy recovery from spine surgery.

Ankylosing Spondylitis: Treatment and Recovery

Treatment for ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is aimed at relieving the patient's symptoms and preventing spinal deformity. Non-surgical treatment includes medication, physical therapy, and bracing; seldom is surgery required.

Ankylosing Spondylitis: Description and Diagnosis

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory arthritis condition that can affect the spine. Spine expert-written article on ankylosing spondylitis and how it's diagnosed.

Causes of Ankylosing Spondylitis

Researchers aren't exactly sure what causes ankylosing spondylitis, but they believe that heredity and a certain type of bacteria may play a role in the development of this spinal condition. Inflammation may also play a role in causing the spine to fuse.

Osteoarthritis: Treatment Options

Although there is no 'cure' for osteoarthritis, the symptoms can be treated.

Osteoarthritis: Commonly Affected Joints

Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint but most often occurs in the spine, hips, knees, or hands.

Osteoarthritis: Degenerative Spinal Joint Disease

Spinal osteoarthritis, also called spondylosis, affects your spinal joints and can cause back pain or neck pain. Learn the causes and symptoms of spondylosis.

What is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by pain and progressive stiffness. It mainly affects the spine, but it can affect other areas of the body, too. Get an overview of this spinal condition here.

Common Ankylosing Spondylitis Questions

Article covers quick answers to the most common questions about ankylosing spondylitis. What is it? What causes it? What can you do for the pain and other symptoms?

Anatomy of Ankylosing Spondylitis

A solid understanding of your spinal anatomy will help you understand how ankylosing spondylitis (AS) affects your spine. Learn about the different spinal regions where AS can cause inflammation and fused bones.

Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis

The first symptom of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is usually pain in the sacroiliac joints (located at the back of the pelvis). From there, AS can spread up the spine, causing bones to fuse, also known as ossification.

Case Studies Presented by Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD

Post-surgical Discitis

Antibiotics, Debridement, or Fusion?
Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

Following an MIS discectomy, a 36-year-old male develops “horrible” back pain and during repeat MRI, discitis is seen. How best to treat this patient? Course of antibiotics? Debridement? Debridement and fusion? Read how one spine surgeon treated this post-operative infection patient.

Grade II Isthmic Spondylolisthesis Revision

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

A 27-year-old female, with a grade 2 isthmic spondylolisthesis, presents with low back pain and extremity pain related to a lifting injury.

Cervical Tumor in a 14-year-old Female

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

This 14-year-old patient presents with neck pain and headaches for five months. She recently experienced upper and lower extremity weakness.

Cervical Trauma in a Young Football Player

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

This 16-year-old football player presents with severe neck pain and transient quadriparesis following a tackle.

Grade IV Ismthic Spondylolisthesis

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

The patient is a 32-year-old who underwent in situ fusion for grade II spondylolisthesis at age 16. She now presents with increasing low back pain with radiculopathy.

Adult Scoliosis: Progressive Lower Extremity Radicular Pain

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

The patient is a 44-year-old female diagnosed with adjacent segment degeneration after prior Harrington rod treatment.

S1 Failure in an Elderly Female

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

This elderly female previously underwent a T10-S1 fusion at another institution and presents with postural change and increased back pain.

Cervical Trauma Resulting in Quadriplegia

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

In this case, a young male sustains a cervicothoracic fracture dislocation and profound spinal cord injury.

Sacral Fracture and Dislocation

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

After a minor fall, the patient presents with severe sacral area pain and urinary incontinence.

Neurofibromatosis (NF-1) in a 15-Year-old

Presented by: C. Shaffrey MD

The patient is a 15-year-old boy with neurofibromatosis who fell while skateboarding and suffered temporary quadriplegia.

Articles Reviewed by Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD

Artificial Discs and Degenerative Disc Disease

Artificial Discs and Degenerative Disc Disease, an interview with Kevin Foley, M.D.

Kyphosis: Description and Diagnosis

Read about possible causes of kyphosis and tests that doctors use to diagnose kyphosis.

Kyphosis: Treatment and Recovery

Early treatment of kyphosis is especially important to the adolescent patient. Left untreated, the curve progression can lead to significant problems later during adulthood.

Financial Disclosures

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Author's Statement

I, or an immediate family member, have a financial interest(s) or affiliation(s) with the following commercial companies whose products and / or services may be mentioned in the materials I have authored, edited or reviewed for presentation on Vertical Health, LLC’s websites.

Disclosed Relationships

Grants/Research Support
AO, Department of Defense, NIH, NACTN
Medtronic, Depuy, Biomet