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Christopher P. Ames, MD


Associate Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF; Director, UCSF Spine Tumor and Spinal Deformity Surgery

Phone: (415) 353-7500 (neurosurgery); (866) 817-7463 (spine center)
Box 0112, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0112

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Additional Websites


Dartmouth College, BA, 1989
University of California, Los Angeles, MD, 1994
University of California, San Diego, 1994-1995, Surgical Internship
University of California, San Diego, 1995-2000, Resident, Neurological Surgery
Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona, 2001-2002, Spine Fellow

Professional Experience

  • 2002-present
    Department of Neurological Surgery, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 1989
    Cum Laude, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
  • 1994
    Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2001
    Chairman's Prize, University of California, San Diego
  • 2005
    ISSLS Award
  • 2010
    50 of the Best Spine Specialists in America
  • 2010
    America's Top Surgeons, Castle Connolly

Selected Publications

  1. Theologis AA, Demirkiran G, Callahan M, Pekmezci M, Ames C, Deviren V. Local intrawound vancomycin powder decreases the risk of surgical site infections in complex adult deformity reconstruction: a cost analysis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Oct 15; 39(22):1875-80.
    View on PubMed
  2. Schairer WW, Carrer A, Sing DC, Chou D, Mummaneni PV, Hu SS, Berven SH, Burch S, Tay B, Deviren V, Ames C. Hospital readmission rates after surgical treatment of primary and metastatic tumors of the spine. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Oct 1; 39(21):1801-8.
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  3. Protopsaltis T, Schwab F, Bronsard N, Smith JS, Klineberg E, Mundis G, Ryan DJ, Hostin R, Hart R, Burton D, Ames C, Shaffrey C, Bess S, Errico T, Lafage V. The t1 pelvic angle, a novel radiographic measure of global sagittal deformity, accounts for both spinal inclination and pelvic tilt and correlates with health-related quality of life. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014 Oct 1; 96(19):1631-40.
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  4. Smith JS, Lafage V, Schwab FJ, Shaffrey CI, Protopsaltis T, Klineberg E, Gupta M, Scheer JK, Fu KM, Mundis G, Hostin R, Deviren V, Hart R, Burton DC, Bess S, Ames CP. Prevalence and type of cervical deformity among 470 adults with thoracolumbar deformity. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Aug 1; 39(17):E1001-9.
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  5. Fu KM, Bess S, Shaffrey CI, Smith JS, Lafage V, Schwab F, Burton DC, Akbarnia BA, Ames CP, Boachie-Adjei O, Deverin V, Hart RA, Hostin R, Klineberg E, Gupta M, Kebaish K, Mundis G, Mummaneni PV. Patients with adult spinal deformity treated operatively report greater baseline pain and disability than patients treated nonoperatively; however, deformities differ between age groups. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Aug 1; 39(17):1401-7.
    View on PubMed
  6. Clark AJ, Garcia RM, Keefe MK, Koski TR, Rosner MK, Smith JS, Cheng JS, Shaffrey CI, McCormick PC, Ames CP. Results of the AANS membership survey of adult spinal deformity knowledge: impact of training, practice experience, and assessment of potential areas for improved education. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014 Oct; 21(4):640-7.
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  7. Ryan DJ, Protopsaltis TS, Ames CP, Hostin R, Klineberg E, Mundis GM, Obeid I, Kebaish K, Smith JS, Boachie-Adjei O, Burton DC, Hart RA, Gupta M, Schwab FJ, Lafage V. T1 pelvic angle (TPA) effectively evaluates sagittal deformity and assesses radiographical surgical outcomes longitudinally. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Jul 1; 39(15):1203-10.
    View on PubMed
  8. Oh JK, Smith JS, Shaffrey CI, Lafage V, Schwab F, Ames CP, Matsumoto M, Baik JS, Ha Y. Sagittal spinopelvic malalignment in Parkinson disease: prevalence and associations with disease severity. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Jun 15; 39(14):E833-41.
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  9. Molina CA, Ames CP, Chou D, Rhines LD, Hsieh PC, Zadnik PL, Wolinsky JP, Gokaslan ZL, Sciubba DM. Outcomes following attempted en bloc resection of cervical chordomas in the C-1 and C-2 region versus the subaxial region: a multiinstitutional experience. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014 Sep; 21(3):348-56.
    View on PubMed
  10. Kim HJ, Boachie-Adjei O, Shaffrey CI, Schwab F, Lafage V, Bess S, Gupta MC, Smith JS, Deviren V, Akbarnia B, Mundis GM, O'Brien M, Hostin R, Ames C. Upper thoracic versus lower thoracic upper instrumented vertebrae endpoints have similar outcomes and complications in adult scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Jun 1; 39(13):E795-9.
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  11. Acosta FL, Ames C, Hsieh PC, McCarthy IM. Introduction: Costs and benefits of modern-day spine care. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Jun; 36(6):Introduction.
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  12. Bianco K, Norton R, Schwab F, Smith JS, Klineberg E, Obeid I, Mundis G, Shaffrey CI, Kebaish K, Hostin R, Hart R, Gupta MC, Burton D, Ames C, Boachie-Adjei O, Protopsaltis TS, Lafage V. Complications and intercenter variability of three-column osteotomies for spinal deformity surgery: a retrospective review of 423 patients. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 May; 36(5):E18.
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  13. Sparrey CJ, Bailey JF, Safaee M, Clark AJ, Lafage V, Schwab F, Smith JS, Ames CP. Etiology of lumbar lordosis and its pathophysiology: a review of the evolution of lumbar lordosis, and the mechanics and biology of lumbar degeneration. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 May; 36(5):E1.
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  14. McCarthy I, O'Brien M, Ames C, Robinson C, Errico T, Polly DW, Hostin R. Incremental cost-effectiveness of adult spinal deformity surgery: observed quality-adjusted life years with surgery compared with predicted quality-adjusted life years without surgery. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 May; 36(5):E3.
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  15. Kelly MP, Lenke LG, Shaffrey CI, Ames CP, Carreon LY, Lafage V, Smith JS, Shimer AL. Evaluation of complications and neurological deficits with three-column spine reconstructions for complex spinal deformity: a retrospective Scoli-RISK-1 study. Neurosurg Focus. 2014 May; 36(5):E17.
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  16. Smith JS, Singh M, Klineberg E, Shaffrey CI, Lafage V, Schwab FJ, Protopsaltis T, Ibrahimi D, Scheer JK, Mundis G, Gupta MC, Hostin R, Deviren V, Kebaish K, Hart R, Burton DC, Bess S, Ames CP. Surgical treatment of pathological loss of lumbar lordosis (flatback) in patients with normal sagittal vertical axis achieves similar clinical improvement as surgical treatment of elevated sagittal vertical axis. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014 Aug; 21(2):160-70.
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  17. Shaffrey E, Smith JS, Lenke LG, Polly DW, Chen CJ, Coe JD, Broadstone PA, Glassman SD, Vaccaro AR, Ames CP, Shaffrey CI. Defining rates and causes of mortality associated with spine surgery: comparison of 2 data collection approaches through the scoliosis research society. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Apr 1; 39(7):579-86.
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  18. Safaee M, Oh MC, Mummaneni PV, Weinstein PR, Ames CP, Chou D, Berger MS, Parsa AT, Gupta N. Surgical outcomes in spinal cord ependymomas and the importance of extent of resection in children and young adults. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Apr; 13(4):393-9.
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  19. Bess S, Line BG, Lafage V, Schwab F, Shaffrey CI, Hart RA, Boachie-Adjei O, Akbarnia BA, Ames CP, Burton DC, Deverin V, Fu KM, Gupta M, Hostin R, Kebaish K, Klineberg E, Mundis G, O'brien M, Shelokov A, Smith JS. Does Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Use in Adult Spinal Deformity Increase Complications and Are Complications Associated With Location of rhBMP-2 Use? A Prospective, Multicenter Study of 279 Consecutive Patients. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Feb 1; 39(3):233-42.
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  20. Clark AJ, Tang JA, Leasure JM, Ivan ME, Kondrashov D, Buckley JM, Deviren V, Ames CP. Gait-simulating fatigue loading analysis and sagittal alignment failure of spinal pelvic reconstruction after total sacrectomy: comparison of 3 techniques. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014 Apr; 20(4):364-70.
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