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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. Smith JS, Lafage V, Shaffrey CI, Schwab F, Hostin RA, Boachie-Adjei O, Scheer JK, Akbarnia BA, Klineberg E, Gupta M, Deviren V, Hart R, Burton DC, Bess S, Ames CP. 117 Outcomes of Operative and Nonoperative Treatment for Adult Spinal Deformity: A Prospective, Multicenter Matched and Unmatched Cohort Assessment with Minimum 2-Year Follow-up. Neurosurgery. 2014 Aug; 61 Suppl 1:197-8.
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  2. Soroceanu A, Passias PG, Boniello A, Scheer JK, Schwab F, Shaffrey CI, Kim HJ, Protopsaltis T, Mundis G, Gupta M, Klineberg E, Lafage V, Smith JS, Ames CP. 147 Risk of Development of New Onset Postoperative Cervical Deformity in Thoracolumbar Adult Spinal Deformity and Effect on Clinical Outcomes at 2-year Follow-up. Neurosurgery. 2014 Aug; 61 Suppl 1:208.
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  3. Scheer JK, Smith JS, Lafage V, Shaffrey CI, Lafage R, Klineberg E, Gupta M, Hostin RA, Kebaish K, Bess S, Schwab F, Ames CP. 150 Spinal Pelvic Radiographic Thresholds for Regional Lumbar Disability are Age Dependent: Analysis of Multicenter Database of 833 Patients. Neurosurgery. 2014 Aug; 61 Suppl 1:209.
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  4. Bess S, Line BG, Lafage V, Ames CP, Boachie-Adjei O, Burton DC, Hart R, Gupta M, Klineberg E, Mundis G, Hostin RA, Schwab F, Shaffrey CI, Smith JS. 151 Intermediate dosing of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 improves fusion rates with no increase in major complications but does not improve health related quality of life for adult spinal deformity at minimum 2 years: a prospective, multicenter analysis. Neurosurgery. 2014 Aug; 61 Suppl 1:209-10.
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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. Scheer JK, Lafage V, Smith JS, Deviren V, Hostin R, McCarthy IM, Mundis GM, Burton DC, Klineberg E, Gupta MC, Kebaish KM, Shaffrey CI, Bess S, Schwab F, Ames CP. Impact of age on the likelihood of reaching a minimum clinically important difference in 374 three-column spinal osteotomies. J Neurosurg Spine. 2014 Mar; 20(3):306-12.
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  17. Schwab F, Blondel B, Chay E, Demakakos J, Lenke L, Tropiano P, Ames C, Smith JS, Shaffrey CI, Glassman S, Farcy JP, Lafage V. The comprehensive anatomical spinal osteotomy classification. Neurosurgery. 2014 Jan; 74(1):112-20.
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  18. Su BW, Shimer AL, Chinthakunta S, Salloum K, Ames CP, Vaccaro AR, Bucklen B. Comparison of fatigue strength of c2 pedicle screws, c2 pars screws, and a hybrid construct in c1-c2 fixation. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Jan 1; 39(1):E12-9.
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  19. Liu S, Schwab F, Smith JS, Klineberg E, Ames CP, Mundis G, Hostin R, Kebaish K, Deviren V, Gupta M, Boachie-Adjei O, Hart RA, Bess S, Lafage V. Likelihood of reaching minimal clinically important difference in adult spinal deformity: a comparison of operative and nonoperative treatment. Ochsner J. 2014; 14(1):67-77.
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  20. Nacar OA, Ulu MO, Pekmezci M, Deviren V, Ames C. Successful treatment of a very rare angiosarcoma involving the lumbar spine via en-bloc resection and radiotherapy: case report. Turk Neurosurg. 2014; 24(1):140-5.
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