Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert

Spine-Talks Ask the Experts is a gallery of current topics in spinal health provided by leading experts throughout the nation.  Ask the Expert videos are short, salient interviews or presentations that get you directly to the information you need.  

If you are a provider and are interested in submitting your content, please contact Sabrina Woodlief at swoodlief@spinehealth.org


Physician Assistant
After completing her Master of Physician Assistant Studies at Shenandoah University, Thao served a one year residency and one year fellowship in medical and surgical management of spinal disorders. She…

Physical Therapist
As a co-director for Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center's practice, Rich is a dynamic leader in the field of physical therapy. He earned dual degrees in sports medicine and physical…

Director of Regenerative Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
As the Director of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Bharara has redefined outpatient treatment options for athletes and active individuals suffering with spine or orthopaedic joint, tendon, and/or ligament conditions. Regenerative medicine…

Doctor of Integrative Medicine & Certified Nutritionist
Owner of Nurtured Bones - Susan Brady brings a rich diversity of experience and knowledge to the healthcare profession. After graduating from the University of Southern California in 1989 with…

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr. John R. Dimar II received his medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. His residency training in orthopedics was completed through the Lutheran Hospital…

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr. Djurasovic received his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.  He attended medical school and completed his Orthopaedic Surgery residency training at The Columbia University College…

Physical Therapist
Paul recently graduated from Shenandoah’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program which lends itself to a variety of therapeutic interventions and evidence based practices. He believes that every day is a…

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr. Daniel E. Gelb is a professor of orthopedics and vice chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Gelb received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine…

Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr. Glassman completed his undergraduate and medical school training at Princeton University, New Jersey and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University in New York.  He completed his orthopedic…

Spine Surgeon & President of Virginia Spine Institute
Dr. Good has pioneered the use of robotics and navigation in spine surgery, established as a world expert in the field. Most recently, he performed the first and the most…

Physical Therapist
With the unique specialty of orthopaedic manual physical therapy and biomechanical assessment of human movement, Larry works with each patient to provide a thorough, efficient, and successful treatment plan which…

Spine Surgeon/Director of Research
Dr. Haines utilizes modern technology to provide safer and more effective treatment options for individuals suffering from degenerative neck, back, and scoliosis conditions. Recognized as a Top Doctor, his world-class…

Spine Surgeon
Hailing from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Dr. Jazini joins the interdisciplinary team at Virginia Spine Institute to improve the lives of individuals suffering from neck and back pain. His training…

Spine Surgeon
Dr. Kraemer is a native of Iowa. He was educated at Cornell University in New York, The University of Iowa Medical School, and the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics…

Physician Assistant
Having earned her Master of Physician Assistant Sciences at Seton Hall University, Lindsay spent two years as a Physician Assistant in neurosurgery before joining the Virginia Spine Institute team in…

Spine Surgeon & CEO/Founder
Dr. Schuler founded Virginia Spine Institute in 1992 to advance the development of contemporary neurological and orthopaedic spinal surgery. Today his knowledge, leadership, and innovative techniques have revolutionized spinal healthcare…

Rehabilitative Fitness & Sellness/Certified Strength Coach
Carrie Seifert is a Certified Strength Coach with a special interest in Rehabilitative Fitness and Wellness. After graduating from James Madison University in 2001, with a degree in Exercise Science…

Physical Therapist
In addition to being skilled in manual therapy and custom orthotics, Carey has a biomechanical approach to physical therapy. Her niche specialty provides health education and care specifically tailored to…

Thao Allen, PA-C, MPAS

Physician Assistant

After completing her Master of Physician Assistant Studies at Shenandoah University, Thao served a one year residency and one year fellowship in medical and surgical management of spinal disorders. She is licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine and is certified by the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants and Advanced Cardiac Life Support/Basic Life Support. She has been a member of the Virginia Spine Institute for nearly a decade! – Virginia Spine Institute – Reston, VA

Rich Banton
PT, DPT, OCS, CMPT, ATC, CDN

Physical Therapist

As a co-director for Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center’s practice, Rich is a dynamic leader in the field of physical therapy. He earned dual degrees in sports medicine and physical therapy, which he pairs with the latest advanced treatment techniques to get patients back to their active lifestyles and professions. His practice is focused in treating competitive individuals who are driven to get back “in the game!” His niche is specifically working with athletes ranging from weekend warriors, collegiate student-athletes, avid tri-athletes, marathoners, and professional athletes; including Olympic and NFL players, NASCAR and the LPGA. His dedication to advancing the profession has him fluent in trigger point dry needling, custom orthotics and Functional Capacity Evaluations, as well as a variety of orthopaedic, neurologic and pediatric conditions. Rich’s dedication to continuing education finds him teaching other physical therapists through course work through the Institute of Advanced Musculoskeletal Treatments. – Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center | Reston, VA

Niteesh Bharara, MD, DABPMR

Director of Regenerative Medicine, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

As the Director of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Bharara has redefined outpatient treatment options for athletes and active individuals suffering with spine or orthopaedic joint, tendon, and/or ligament conditions. Regenerative medicine offers an alternative to surgery, utilizing the body’s natural healing process to restore maximum function and provide pain relief. Rather than mask the symptoms, regenerative medicine utilizes the body’s natural healing process to rebuild damaged tissue, heal injuries more effectively, and eliminate pain. This modern treatment solution seeks to treat the underlying source of pain without relying on medication or surgery often times leading to a shorter recovery period, and increased function and mobility.

Dr. Bharara’s distinguished expertise within this field earned him 2019 Face of Regenerative Medicine and Top Doctor recognition by Washingtonian Magazine. He is leading the Mid-Atlantic region in performing effective natural therapies such as stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), prolotherapy, and lipogems injections.

Heralded for his compassionate approach, Dr. Bharara promotes the practice of effective and safe treatment options focused on the unique recovery goals of each patient. He takes an interdisciplinary approach that utilizes a synergistic team of physical therapists, massage therapists, sports trainers, aquatic therapists, and nutritionists, all working together to alleviate pain. – Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center | Reston, VA

Susan Brady, MPT

Doctor of Integrative Medicine & Certified Nutritionist

Owner of Nurtured Bones – Susan Brady brings a rich diversity of experience and knowledge to the healthcare profession. After graduating from the University of Southern California in 1989 with a Master of Physical Therapy, she began working outpatient physical therapy treating individuals with a wide variety of muscle and skeletal disorders. Susan began to take note of the increasing number of pharmaceutical medications being prescribed to patients, yet they continued to suffer with unrelenting aches and pains and lingering recovery. Although it quickly became apparent that patients leading a natural, healthy lifestyle experienced a more rapid and complete recovery, it wasn’t until she treated her own injury through a nutrient rich diet, targeted supplements and proper exercise and rest cycles that she truly began to understand the power of taking a holistic approach to the healing process.

Realizing the importance of integrating various therapeutic approaches and healing modalities, she began to pursue her degree in integrative medicine at Capital University of Integrative Medicine. This program educated her in a variety of alternative treatments and therapies as well as the importance of evaluating a person as a whole, considering all aspects of one’s health and well-being. This is when Susan became passionate about nutrition, believing it to be the true foundation for optimal health and healing.

Susan continued her studies in nutrition and obtained a degree as a Certified Nutritionist from the American Health Science University in 2006 and then a Post Master’s Certificate in Nutrition and Integrative Health from Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2014. Susan is also a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

As a physical therapist of 30 years, Susan has a strong affinity to helping people with orthopedic and spinal issues. Although nutrition is typically reserved for treating people with conditions such cardiovascular disease and diabetes, Susan has seen it be a powerful adjunct to treating bone and joint related issues as well. By thoroughly assessing and addressing all aspects of one’s health, Susan is able to provide a comprehensive approach to tackling pain and inflammation associated with spinal issues through nutrition, personalized supplementation and lifestyle.

Susan has a private practice but also enjoys working in conjunction with other physical therapists, chiropractors and medical doctors in the Northern Virginia area. She has also established a Bone Health Program at Virginia Spine Institute/Virginia Therapy and Fitness Center that provides a comprehensive approach to treating people with osteoporosis. – Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center | Reston, VA

John Dimar, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. John R. Dimar II received his medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. His residency training in orthopedics was completed through the Lutheran Hospital Orthopedic Residency Program in Fort Wayne, Indiana, followed by a six-month chief resident internship with the Leatherman Spine Center. Dr. Dimar then served in the United States Air Force at the Regional Hospital in Minot, North Dakota, serving as Chief of Surgery and Assistant Chief of Hospital Services. He then returned to Louisville to complete a spine fellowship with the Leatherman Spine Center.

Dr. Dimar is a clinical professor with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Chief Pediatric Orthopedic surgeon at Norton Children’s Hospital and Director of Resident Basic Science Education at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He is active in instructing orthopedic surgeons and residents in the treatment of deformities, tumors, degenerative disease and trauma involving the spine. His particular area of interest is the treatment of cervical spine disease, degenerative spine disease and spine trauma.

Dr. Dimar is actively involved with research. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on the treatment of spinal problems and has spoken widely at many national and international spine meetings. He is a member of the North American Spine Society, the Scoliosis Research Society and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery in which he has won both best clinical and research paper awards. – Norton Leatherman Spine Center | Louisville, KY

Mladen Djurasovic, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Djurasovic received his undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.  He attended medical school and completed his Orthopaedic Surgery residency training at The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, NY.  He did his spine Fellowship training at the Leatherman Spine Center in Louisville, KY.  He has been a staff surgeon at the Norton Leatherman Spine Center since 2003.  Dr. Djurasovic is a nationally recognized leader in spinal surgery.  He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Louisville and also holds multiple physician leadership positions within the Norton Healthcare community.  He is a member of the North American Spine Society, Scoliosis Research Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. – Norton Leatherman Spine Center | Louisville, KY

 

Paul Ellington, PT, DPT, CHC

Physical Therapist

Paul recently graduated from Shenandoah’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program which lends itself to a variety of therapeutic interventions and evidence based practices. He believes that every day is a chance to be better than yesterday, and with a strong foundation in exercise and nutrition, he can work with a patient’s goals to ensure they continue to improve even after finishing physical therapy. Whether that entails high level athletics or being functionally independent at home, Paul is well equipped to treat the entire individual rather than a diagnosis. He works with every patient’s unique goals to create a personalized rehabilitation program that is both holistic and specific to the needs of patients. As a Nutrition and Exercise major at Virginia Tech, he spent time treating student athletes of all ages and has a passion for sports medicine. As a Certified Health Coach, Paul addresses both the physical and nutritional components of rehabilitation advocating for total body wellness. – Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center | Reston, VA

Daniel Gelb, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Daniel E. Gelb is a professor of orthopedics and vice chairman of the Department of Orthopaedics. Dr. Gelb received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Rochester. He then completed an orthopedic spine fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and an Yves Cotrel Fellowship for the study of surgery of the spine in Paris, France.

Before coming to the University of Maryland, Dr. Gelb spent eight years as an assistant professor of orthopedics at Penn State University College of Medicine. He is board certified in orthopedic surgery. Dr. Gelb is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha national honor society for medicine. He is a recipient of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation Grant for research in autocrine regulation of chondrocyte maturation and was awarded the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Vincent D. Pellegrini, Jr., MD, Teaching Award in 2001 and 2009.

His areas of clinical interest include adult and pediatric spinal deformity, including scoliosis and kyphosis, spinal tumors and infections, spinal trauma, and a full range of degenerative spinal conditions. Dr. Gelb was named a Top Doctor in the specialty of Orthopaedic Surgery: Spine by Baltimore magazine in 2016. Dr. Gelb was named The Washington Post Magazine‘s Super Doctor 2011 for Orthopaedics. – University of Maryland Medical Center | Baltimore, MD

Steve Glassman, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Glassman completed his undergraduate and medical school training at Princeton University, New Jersey and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University in New York.  He completed his orthopedic residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York followed by a Spine Fellowship at Leatherman Spine Fellowship Program in Louisville, Kentucky.  He is a staff physician at Norton Leatherman Spine Center, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Louisville and Past President of the Scoliosis Research Society. – Louisville, KY

 

 

Christopher Good, MD, FACS

Spine Surgeon & President of Virginia Spine Institute

Dr. Good has pioneered the use of robotics and navigation in spine surgery, established as a world expert in the field. Most recently, he performed the first and the most advanced robotic spine surgery using Mazor X Stealth Edition technology. Through extensive research, his surgical techniques are proven to decrease complications and improve patient safety and recovery time. The wide-reaching impact of his innovation has transformed the lives of patients suffering from complex neck or back conditions. His passion to become a spine surgeon began at an early age when his father suffered a traumatic spinal injury. Heralded for his compassionate approach, Dr. Good personally connects with patients, working together to create a tailored treatment plan that will achieve their goals for recovery.As the President of Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Good has also pioneered the use of regenerative stem cell therapy for lumbar disc disease, helping many patients with low back pain to improve their quality of life and avoid surgery; he has performed the most intra-discal injections of stem cells in the region. He is currently studying the outcomes of his patients and uses these outcome studies to improve access to these revolutionary treatments for more people who suffer from back pain.

Through his leadership and vast experience, Dr. Good is reshaping the future of spine surgery and his research has helped develop surgical techniques that are proven to improve patient safety, decrease radiation during surgery, and reduce recovery time. Dr. Good is the principal investigator of an FDA trial investigating a revolutionary new cervical disc replacement surgery and participates in multiple scientific advisory boards working to improve patient safety and spinal balance; he routinely presents his findings, both nationally and internationally. – Virginia Spine Institute | Reston, VA

Larry Grine, PT, MSPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS, CDN

Physical Therapist

With the unique specialty of orthopaedic manual physical therapy and biomechanical assessment of human movement, Larry works with each patient to provide a thorough, efficient, and successful treatment plan which results in a sustainable solution. In addition to treating orthopaedic and sports injuries, he has a sub-specialty in vestibular conditions treating dizziness and balance symptoms. Larry works with athletes ranging from youth and weekend warriors to professional soccer teams, US Men’s World Cup Soccer Team and NFL athletes. Larry co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Physical Therapy Associates (MAPTA), a physical therapy continuing education organization. – Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center | Reston, VA

 

 

Colin Haines, MD

Spine Surgeon/Director of Research

Dr. Haines utilizes modern technology to provide safer and more effective treatment options for individuals suffering from degenerative neck, back, and scoliosis conditions. Recognized as a Top Doctor, his world-class surgical expertise is complemented by an impressive portfolio of non-operative treatments including natural, regenerative therapies (i.e. stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma therapy).

Known for his compassion and humility, Dr. Haines’ ambition to become a spine surgeon began at a young age when he suffered a lumbar disc herniation playing soccer. After recovering successfully without surgery, he was profoundly impacted by the power of non-operative treatment. This experience fueled his desire to personally connect with patients, working together to create a tailored treatment plan that will achieve their goals for recovery.

When surgical intervention is necessary, Dr. Haines utilizes minimally invasive surgical techniques that improve patient safety and reduces recovery time. These techniques include robot-guided spine surgery, laser spine surgery, and he is one of the few spine surgeons in the nation who is an expert in endoscopic spine surgery. Additionally, Dr. Haines promotes motion preservation through the use of cervical disc replacements (an alternative to spinal fusions) and is currently a lead investigator for an FDA trial for cervical disc replacements.

As the Director of Research at Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Haines actively facilitates research studies that advance treatment options for his patients. Notably, he is involved in the largest study on professional baseball players with back pain and is currently leading multiple FDA trials on cervical disc implants. Dr. Haines is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences, and his research findings can be found in textbook chapters and peer-reviewed publications. – Virginia Spine Institute | Reston, VA

Ehsan Jazini, MD

Spine Surgeon

Hailing from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Dr. Jazini joins the interdisciplinary team at Virginia Spine Institute to improve the lives of individuals suffering from neck and back pain.

His training in both spinal neurosurgery and orthopaedic spinal surgery, paired with his extensive experience in the hospital, university and private practice settings, has him positioned as a renowned leader in the field. Specifically, Dr. Jazini specializes in the treatment of adult and adolescent neck and back conditions including scoliosis and kyphosis correction, complex cervical conditions, revision surgery to correct failed previous surgery, and traumatic injuries.

Dr. Jazini’s passion to become a leader in spinal surgery stems from a personal experience following a car accident in which his brother sustained multiple injuries including spinal fractures and scoliosis. This motivated Dr. Jazini to dedicate his life to improving the field of spinal surgery.

Known for his sincere and compassionate approach, Dr. Jazini draws on his training to develop tailored treatment solutions for his patients. Working in tandem with in-house physical therapists and pain specialists, he provides an array of non-operative treatment options to reduce pain, improve mobility, and work toward achieving his patient’s recovery goals.

Advocating for his patients through progressive treatment options, Dr. Jazini has mastered surgical techniques in artificial cervical disc replacement, minimally invasive scoliosis surgery, and robot-guided spine surgery. His leadership in multi-center clinical trials have contributed to improved surgical outcomes. Most notably, he has developed a minimally invasive screw placement for surgical candidates to reduce radiation exposure, ultimately leading to safer, more effective results.

Dr. Jazini’s experience extends internationally where he completed Health Volunteers Overseas Orthopedics Traveling Fellowship at National Referral Hospital in Thimphu & Mongar, Bhutan. Furthermore, to complement his clinical expertise and patient outcomes, Dr. Jazini served as an assistant professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and actively presents his research nationally and internationally. –Spine Surgeon, Virginia Spine Institute | Reston, VA

Paul Kraemer, MD

Spine Surgeon

Dr. Kraemer is a native of Iowa. He was educated at Cornell University in New York, The University of Iowa Medical School, and the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Orthopaedic Surgery residency program. He then spent an additional year at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center/ the University of Washington in a combined orthopaedic and neurosurgical Spine Surgery fellowship.

Dr. Kraemer has a special interest in scoliosis, revision surgery, and minimally invasive techniques. “My training at both Wisconsin and Harborview emphasized logical careful thinking about some of the most difficult problems affecting the Spine. The more complex the problem, the more important it is to precisely identify the source of the pain, and design a solution, operative or non-operative, that makes sense.” He practices at Indiana Spine Hospital, Community Hospital, Riverview Hospital, and Indiana University Hospitals, where he serves as an assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and is the Fellowship Director for the spine surgery fellowship. In addition he is actively involved in research, resident education, and cross-specialty education of practicing physicians. He has presented research and taught courses nationally at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the North American Spine Society, as well as speaking locally on complex spine and diagnostic challenges to the IU departments of medicine, orthopaedics, and neurosurgery. –Spine Surgeon, Indiana Spine Group | Carmel, IN

Lindsay Orosz, PA-C, MPAS

Physician Assistant

Having earned her Master of Physician Assistant Sciences at Seton Hall University, Lindsay spent two years as a Physician Assistant in neurosurgery before joining the Virginia Spine Institute team in 2009. She completed one year residency and one year fellowship in medical and surgical management of spinal disorders, certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and Advanced Cardiac Life Support/Basic Life Support, and is licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine. –Physician Assistant, Virginia Spine Institute | Reston, VA

 

 

Thomas Schuler, MD, FACS

Spine Surgeon & CEO/Founder

Dr. Schuler founded Virginia Spine Institute in 1992 to advance the development of contemporary neurological and orthopaedic spinal surgery. Today his knowledge, leadership, and innovative techniques have revolutionized spinal healthcare and restored the lifestyles of tens of thousands nationwide. Over the past 25 years he has grown this award-winning medical practice into the largest multidisciplinary spinal practice in the region. As the Founder and CEO of Virginia Spine Institute, Dr. Schuler continues to pioneer the latest breakthrough in treatment to overcome back or neck pain. He has expanded his practice to include regenerative therapy, stem cell therapy, robotic spine surgery, ultrasonic spine surgery, and enhanced motion-preserving surgical techniques that benefit patients across the globe.

In addition to performing the first hybrid multi-level cervical artificial disc replacement with spinal fusion in the country, he has first-hand experience of this procedure from the patient perspective. After suffering from severe neck pain, disc herniations, and nerve compression, Dr. Schuler underwent a hybrid procedure to treat four levels of his spine and is fully recovered and back to his life, pain free. His experience as a patient, having undergone both neck and low back surgery, affords him the unique ability to better understand his patients’ emotional and physical needs and the recovery process. –Virginia Spine Institute | Reston, VA

Carrie Seifert, CSCS

Rehabilitative Fitness & Sellness/Certified Strength Coach

Carrie Seifert is a Certified Strength Coach with a special interest in Rehabilitative Fitness and Wellness. After graduating from James Madison University in 2001, with a degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Nutrition, Carrie spent the last 12 years training various levels of athletes and conducted countless hours educating Physical Therapy patients as a Therapeutic Exercise Trainer. Carrie’s approach to transformative training focuses on one simple concept — ‘are you moving poorly because of your pain, or are you in pain because you are moving poorly?’.

Her use of the most advanced training tools (ie.GravityFit, Powercore360, myorollers, etc.), combined with her posture strengthening techniques help teach her clients better awareness about how their bodies work and move. Whether she is helping a healthy athlete reach their top speed, working with a patient to improve their strength and mobility, or assisting someone in post-rehab recovery, Carrie applies core concepts to help everyone reach their personal training goals.

Carrie’s specialties include Adolescent Athletes, Athlete Strength & Conditioning, Wellness Coach, and Physical Therapy Exercise. Carrie’s Wellness & Training Fitness services fulfill each individual’s unique fitness goals. By offering multiple training options including personal training, weekly group exercise classes, and monthly wellness workshops, there are options for both individual and group training. – Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center | Reston, VA

Carey White, DPT, OCS, CDN, INHC

Physical Therapist

In addition to being skilled in manual therapy and custom orthotics, Carey has a biomechanical approach to physical therapy. Her niche specialty provides health education and care specifically tailored to post-partum women. Her practice incorporates exercise performance to include regaining strength, increasing flexibility, improving balance and control. – Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center | Reston, VA