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Portrait: Joseph Zavatsky

Joseph Michael Zavatsky

Professional Focus Dr. Zavatsky is a board certified Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Training under many of the current leaders in spine surgery at NYU/Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City has enabled me to bring this expertise to my patients. As the former Chief of Spine and Co-Director of the Spine Center at Ochsner Medical Center, I was able to teach orthopaedic surgery residents and engage in both clinical and basic science research. I continued my academic endeavors as the Director of the Spine Center and Spine Fellowship Program at Florida Orthopaedic Institute in Tampa, Florida.

I continue to treat patients of all ages from newborns to seniors with routine conditions to the most complex and refractory spinal disorders in solo practice at Spine & Scoliosis Specialist in Tampa, Florida and often consulted to help colleagues in the treatment of complex spinal disorders. I specialize in complex spinal deformity, revision surgery, and failed / flatback syndrome. Utilizing cutting edge technology including artificial disc replacement and minimally invasive (MIS) techniques to treat even the most complex deformity results in better patient care and faster recovery. As one of the limited number of surgeons in the country who treats complex spinal deformity utilizing MIS techniques, I am privileged to be a member of the International Spine Study Group (ISSG) advancing research in less invasive techniques in the treatment of complex spinal conditions.
Honors & Awards Whitecloud Basic Science Nominee, 23rd Annual IMAST – Location and Dosage of Prophylactic Vertebral Cement
Above Long-Segment Fusion Constructs Affects Endplate Stress: A Finite Element Model – 2016
Ochsner Medical Center Research Day Award – Minimally Invasive Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF) vs. Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF): Patient Centered Results – 2016
Louisiana Orthopaedic Association Best Paper Award – Establishing a Role for Vancomycin Powder Application in Total Joint Arthroplasty for Infection Prevention: Preliminary Results of a Wear Simulation Study – 2014
Milton A Wohl, MD Resident and Medical Student Teaching Award – 2007
City of Philadelphia Fire Department Award of Merit – 2006
Albert Einstein Medical Center Alumni Day Case Presentation Winner – Mycobacterium Mucogenicum Infection to the Spine- 2004
Temple University Dean’s Academic Scholarship – 1997
Pennsylvania Hospital Nuclear Medicine Academic Scholarship – 1992
Research & Publications I have authored many book chapters and peer reviewed journal articles on a variety of spinal topics, but my current research interest includes utilizing minimally invasive spine (MIS) surgical techniques in complex spinal deformity pathology to decrease patient pain, blood loss and infection rates while improving patient outcomes and shortening their hospital stay.

Selected Publications:

Curve Laterality for Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion in Adult Scoliosis Surgery: The Concave versus Convex Controversy. Kanter A, Okonkwo D, Nunley P, Zavatsky JM, Park P, Mundis G, Uribe J, Eastlack R, Chou D, Wang M, Anand N, Shaffrey C, Mummaneni P, ISSG. Neurosurgery. 2017

Impact of Case Type, Length of Stay, Institution Type, and Comorbidities on Medicare DRG Reimbursement for Adult Spinal Deformity. Nunley P, Fessler R, Park P, Zavatsky JM, Mundis G, Uribe J, Eastlack R, Chou D, Wang M, Anand N, Kanter A, Shaffrey C, Mummaneni P, ISSG. Neurosurgical Focus. 2017

Verification of Nerve Decompression Using Mechanomyography. Wessell N, Ghacham W, Khalil J, Zavatsky JM, Anderson E, Bartol S. Spine J, 2016 June, Vol 16(6): 679–686.

Cardiac Emboli Documented by Intraoperative Transesophogeal Echocardiogram (TEE) During Administration of a Tpoical Hemostatic Agent Prior to Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy. Duplantier N, Couch M, Emory L, Zavatsky JM. Spine, 2016 Nov, Vol 41 (9): E556-E560.

Comparison of Ocular Radiation Exposure Utilizing Three Types of Leaded Glasses. Waddell BS, Waddell WH, Godoy G, Zavatsky JM. Spine, 2016 Feb 1;41(4): E231-6.

Bilateral Facet Dislocation with Neural Compression from an Avulsed Posterior Longitudinal Ligament (PLL). Waddell B, Glomset JT, Cook B, Zavatsky JM. J Spine and Neurosurg, 2015 Oct, doi: 10.4172/2325-9701.1000197.

Book Chapters:

Lateral Surgery & Scoliosis. Zavatsky JM, Briski D, Uribe J. In: Wang M, Sama A, Uribe J, eds. Textbook of Minimally Invasive Lateral Spine Surgery. New York, NY: Springer; 2016

Non-Surgical Management of Spondylolisthesis in Adults. Zavatsky JM, Briski D, Frisch R. In: Wollowick A, Sarwahi V, eds. Spondylolisthesis: Diagnosis, Non- Surgical Management, and Surgical Techniques. New York, NY: Springer; 2015

Posterior C1-C2 Fusion Techniques: Harms & Magerl Techniques. Leckie SK, Zavatsky J, Syed I, Lee J. In: Vaccaro A, ed. Atlas of Operative Techniques in Spinal Surgery, 2 nd edition. Phila., PA: Elsevier; 2012

Inflammatory Arthropathies. Zavatsky J, Zarro C, Lonner B, Spivak J. In: Errico TJ, Lonner BS, Moulton AW, eds. Surgical Management of Spinal Deformities. Phila., PA: Elsevier; 2008

C1-C2 Fusion Techniques: A. Harms, B. Magerl C2, C1 Facet Screw Fixation. Zavatsky J, Handal J, Saing M. In: Vaccaro A, ed. Atlas of Operative Techniques in Spinal Surgery. Phila., PA: Elsevier; 2008

Cervical Spondyloptosis. Zavatsky J, Lim M, Lee J. In: Albert T, Lee J, Lim M, eds. Challenges in Cervical Spine Surgery. New York, NY: Thieme Medical; 2008

Consideration for Spinal Cord Monitoring of Patients with Cervical Injuries. Lee J, Zavatsky J. In: Hillibrand A, Grauer J, eds. Cervical Trauma. Phila, PA:
Elsevier; 2006
Compression of Spinal Nerves (Radiculopathy)
Stenosis, Spinal (Lumbar Stenosis)
Cervical Radiculopathy (Radiculopathy)
Thoracic Radiculopathy (Radiculopathy)
Spinal Trauma / Fractures
Cervical Spinal Stenosis
Herniated Disc (Degenerative Disc)
Lumbar Radiculopathy (Low Back Pain)
Chronic Neck Pain (Neck Pain)
Spondylolysis (Low Back Pain)
Spinal Tumors
Revision Spinal Surgery
Failed/Revision Spinal Surgery
Spondylolysis Pars Defect
Degenerative Spondylolisthesis (Spondylolisthesis)
Traumatic Spondylolisthesis (Spondylolisthesis)
Isthmic Spondylolisthesis (Spondylolisthesis)
Scheuermanns Kyphosis (Kyphosis)
Chin on Chest Deformity
Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Failed / Flatback Syndrome
Adult Complex Degenerative Scoliosis
Spinal Stenosis (Lumbar Stenosis)
Minimally Invasive Lumbar Spinal Fusion
Lumbar Spinal Fusion
Cervical Laminoplasty
Cervical Laminectomy
Posterior Cervical Fusion
Scoliosis Deformity Correction
MIS Lateral Interbody Fusion
MIS Scoliosis Fusion
Spinal Tumor Resection
Adult Spinal Deformity Correction
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
Temple University Hospital School of Nuclear Medicine Technology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Medical School
Albert Einstein Medical Center - Orthopaedic Surgery
New York University / Hospital for Joint Diseases - Spine Surgery
Board Certifications
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Hospital Affiliation
St. Petersburg General Hospital
Florida Hospital at Connerton
Tampa Community Hospital
Place of Work
Florida Spine & Joint Institute | Large group (8+) | Current
Spine and Scoliosis Specialists | Small group (3-7) | Current