Browse Health
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Neurological Surgeon, Surgeon
18 years of experience
Accepting new patients
Video profile


Education ?

Medical School Score Rankings
Northwestern University (1994)
Top 50%

Awards & Distinctions ?

SRS Dawson Traveling fellowship
Named on Top 50 Spine Surgeon in America
Castle Connonlly's Top Doctors in Southern California
America's Most Compassionate Doctors, 2010 (Rated & awarded by patients)
Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors® (2015)
Castle Connolly's Top Doctors™ (2012 - 2013)
Patients' Choice Award (2010 - 2011, 2013 - 2015)
Compassionate Doctor Recognition (2010 - 2011, 2013, 2015)
Top 10 Doctor - City (2014)
Santa Monica, CA
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Castle Connoly *
Ronald Reagan Ucla Medical Center
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurosurgery
Associations (back and Neck Pain)- (
Scoliosis Research Society
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Affiliations ?

Dr. Shamie is affiliated with 4 hospitals.

Hospital Affiliations



  • Santa Monica - UCLA Medical Center
    Orthopaedic Surgery
    1250 16th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404
    Top 50%
  • UCLA Medical Center
    Orthopaedic Surgery
    10833 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095
  • Mattel Chldns Hosp. At Ucla
    10833 Le Conte Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095
  • University of California - Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
    757 Westwood Plz, Los Angeles, CA 90095
  • * This information was reported to Vitals by the doctor or doctor's office.

    Publications & Research

    Dr. Shamie has contributed to 8 publications.
    Title A Comparison of Fixed-hole and Slotted-hole Dynamic Plates for Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion.
    Date June 2010
    Journal Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques

    A retrospective review of clinical data at 1 institution was performed.

    Title An Intensive, Progressive Exercise Program Reduces Disability and Improves Functional Performance in Patients After Single-level Lumbar Microdiskectomy.
    Date December 2009
    Journal Physical Therapy

    Restoration of physical function following lumbar microdiskectomy may be influenced by the postoperative care provided.

    Title Surgical Outcomes of Elderly Patients with Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy.
    Date April 2008
    Journal Surgical Neurology

    BACKGROUND: Cervical spondylotic myelopathy is a potentially serious neurologic disorder that commonly presents with gait difficulty and hand dysfunction. Because the development of CSM is in large part related to advanced spondylosis and degenerative disk disease, elderly patients appear to be at an increased risk to develop this condition. The surgical outcomes of this patient population have been understudied; the authors seek to report their clinical results in a series of patients with CSM older than 75 years who underwent surgical treatment. METHODS: This report is composed of a cohort of 36 elderly patients (older than 75 years) and 34 younger patients (younger than 65 years) who underwent decompressive surgery for CSM at one institution between 2001 and 2005. The patients' functional status was evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively using the mJOA disability scale. RESULTS: The mean follow-up time in the elderly group was 24 months, with a range from 12 to 48 months. There was a statistically significant improvement between mean preoperative (11.3) and postoperative (14.4) mJOA scores (P< .0001). The younger group had a higher neurologic recovery rate (71%) than the elderly group (59%); however, this was not statistically significant (P= .29). The postoperative complication rate in the elderly population (38%) was higher than in the younger group (6%; P= .002). CONCLUSION: Elderly patients with CSM are likely to obtain neurologic improvement after decompressive surgery. Their postoperative complication rate is higher than that of younger patients, yet most complications appear to be self limiting and do not adversely affect neurologic outcome.

    Title Safety and Efficacy of Implant Removal for Patients with Recurrent Back Pain After a Failed Degenerative Lumbar Spine Surgery.
    Date September 2007
    Journal Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques

    The etiology of failed degenerative lumbar spine surgery may include a wide array of conditions. There is a group of patients who have recurrence of back pain despite a solid fusion in the absence of any obvious pain generator. Implant removal in those patients is a controversial optional treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of implant removal and to determine the possible predictors of its efficacy. Twenty-five patients (10 M, 15 F) with an average age of 44 (18 to 74) were retrospectively evaluated. All patients had prior titanium posterior pedicle screw instrumentation and fusion for lumbar degenerative disorders. Twenty patients with increase in pain during palpation of the operative side underwent a preoperative anesthetic injection at the site of their trigger points. Patients' clinical charts, operative notes, and preoperative x-rays were evaluated. Relief of pain was evaluated by the percent Visual Analog Scale (VAS) pain change due to implant removal. Functional improvement was rated on a five-point scale. Predictors of pain relief were analyzed by using bivariate analysis. A P value <0.05 was considered significant. Average follow-up period was 20 (12 to 37) months. The median time after the index operation and the recurrence of pain was 13.5 (1 to 119) months. VAS decrease after implant removal was 50% (P<0.001). Functional improvement was reported by 84% of patients. One patient developed a superficial infection managed successfully. Bivariate analysis showed that percent VAS change after injection, months free of pain after the index operation, and provocation of pain by palpation were significant predictors for pain relief (P<0.05). Removal of the implant may be an efficient and safe procedure for carefully selected patients and the most consistent predictor of its efficacy is the percent pain relief after the diagnostic injection of the painful operative side.

    Title A Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Injury Severity Classification Based on Neurologic Function Grade, Spinal Canal Deformity, and Spinal Biomechanical Stability.
    Date December 2006
    Journal The Spine Journal : Official Journal of the North American Spine Society

    BACKGROUND CONTEXT: Current well regarded thoracic and lumbar spine injury classifications use mechanistic and anatomical categories, which do not directly rely on quantifiable management parameters. Their clinical usefulness is not optimal. PURPOSE: Formulate an injury severity based classification. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: This retrospective investigation studied patients who suffered thoracic and lumbar spine injuries, and examined the following three quantifiable parameters: 1) neurologic function grade; 2) spinal canal deformity; 3) biomechanical stability. These parameters are the primary clinical indications for management decisions. PATIENT SAMPLE: One hundred twenty-six consecutive patients with spinal trauma admitted to a level 1 tertiary trauma center from January 1997 to November 2005 were enrolled in this study. OUTCOME MEASURES: Spine injury severity was independently scored on three parameters: 1) neurologic function impairment grade according to the modified Frankel grading method and the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) function scale; 2) spinal canal deformity from translation and intrusion, measured as percent canal cross-sectional area compromise; 3) failure of five possible biomechanical functions in Denis's three anatomic columns, and a sixth group of unstable deformities. All three columns contribute to tensile function. Only the anterior and middle columns provide compression load-bearing function. A combination of three or more column biomechanical function failure or an unstable deformity renders the injury unstable. METHODS: Five fellowship-trained spine surgeons from one institution took part in the study. Hospital medical records, including admission history and physical examination, discharge summary, and operative report (if surgery was performed), were examined for neurologic deficit. Plain radiographs, computed tomographic scans and magnetic resonance imaging were assessed for canal compromise and biomechanical function status. RESULTS: Injuries were located from T3 to L5, 58% of which were at the thoracolumbar junction (T11-L2). Neurologic impairment occurred in 45% (57/126) of patients, with 19 complete paraplegias (Frankel grade A). The average spinal canal cross-sectional area compromise was 56.1% in neurologically impaired and 14.2% for patients who where neurologically intact. The number of tensile element failure patients in neurologically impaired versus intact are as follow: tri-columns 22/4; two columns 16/8; one column 11/17; all columns intact 8/40. Load-bearing element failed in 55/57 neurologically impaired and 63/69 intact patients. Sixty-seven patients had spinal reconstructive surgery. Their average instability profile score was 4.4 out of 6, and canal compromise score was 3.3 out of 5. CONCLUSIONS: A clinically useful thoracic and lumbar spine injury classification should be based on parameters that are the primary indications for management decisions. The same parameters should be injury severity quantifiable as to guide treatment. In this study we introduced spinal canal deformity and column biomechanical functions as quantifiable parameters in thoracic and lumbar injury severity classification. Validation of this method is beyond the scope of this preliminary study.

    Title Cervical Epidural Steroid Injections for Symptomatic Disc Herniations.
    Date July 2006
    Journal Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques

    OBJECTIVES: Cervical disc herniations are a common cause of radicular pain from nerve root impingement and may necessitate surgical decompression to alleviate symptoms. The use of cervical epidural injections has not been studied in detail. The objective of this retrospective study was to examine the efficacy of cervical epidural steroid injections for the treatment of symptomatic herniated cervical discs. METHODS: Patients with herniated cervical discs without myelopathy that had failed conservative management and were otherwise surgical candidates were offered a trial of cervical epidural injections. The results and benefits of the injections were examined as well as the incidence of proceeding to surgical intervention. RESULTS: Of the 70 treated patients, 44 (63%) had significant relief of their symptoms and did not wish to proceed with surgical treatment. Of the 26 patients who underwent surgical decompression, 92% had successful resolution of their symptoms. The nonsurgical and surgical groups were similar in terms of gender, preinjection symptoms, or number of injections. However, significant differences between the two groups were found with regard to age (P<0.05) and time from initial consultation to initial injection (P<0.05). With an average of 13-month follow-up, 45 (65.3%) patients reported a good/excellent result per Odom criteria. In addition, 53 (75%) would attempt cervical epidural steroid injections again in the future. No complications were noted in our series. CONCLUSIONS: Cervical epidural injections are a reasonable part of the nonoperative treatment of patients with symptomatic cervical disc herniations. The success rates appear to be very similar to prior studies of lumbar epidural injections for symptomatic lumbar disc herniations. It appears that a large percentage of the patients may obtain relief from radicular symptoms and avoid surgery for the follow-up period up to 1 year. In addition, patients older than 50 years and those who received the injections earlier, less than 100 days from diagnosis, seemed to have a more favorable outcome.

    Title The Effect of Uniform Heating on the Biomechanical Properties of the Intervertebral Disc in a Porcine Model.
    Date June 2005
    Journal The Spine Journal : Official Journal of the North American Spine Society

    BACKGROUND CONTEXT: The use of minimally invasive lumbar intradiscal heating techniques, including intradiscal electro-thermal therapy (IDET), endoscopic radio-frequency annuloplasty, nucleoplasty and laser discectomy, for chronic lumbar discogenic pain and contained disc herniation has recently gained popularity. The purported therapeutic mechanisms of these interventions include subtotal nuclectomy, annular nociceptor ablation, and stabilization of the annular fibers. Basic science data elucidating the biomechanical and histomorphologic alterations of heat treatments on disc remain sparse. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of uniform heating on biomechanical properties and histomorphology of intervertebral disc tissues using a porcine model. STUDY DESIGN/SETTING: In a laboratory setting, porcine functional spinal units consisting of vertebra-nucleus pulposus-vertebra core and porcine hamstring tendons were harvested. Studies were performed on these tissue samples by uniformly heating the specimens in a constant temperature water bath. Ten porcine lumbar disc core and twenty-five porcine hamstring tendons were utilized as the subjects for this study. The effects of uniform heat treatments on disc core and hamstring tendon were measured for shrinkage, stiffness, and load to failure strength. Histomorphological study was also carried on the same specimen. METHODS: The porcine vertebra-nucleus pulposus-vertebra segments were cored to a uniform 1-cm diameter. The hamstring tendons were cut to uniform 1.2-inch lengths. The tendon specimens were divided into groups of five each and heated in constant temperature water baths of 60 degrees C, 65 degrees C, 70 degrees C, or 75 degrees C for 10 min. Unheated specimens served as controls. The disc core specimens were divided in two group of five each, and tested at room temperature or after immersion in a 70 degrees C bath. The shrinkage was monitored during immersion in the water bath. Biomechanical testing to failure was carried out using mechanical loading on an MTS servohydraulic testing machine operating under stroke control. Strength and stiffness of the tissue was determined. Histomorphology was studied by staining the specimen with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), and examined under 200 times magnification. Non-heated controls were used for comparisons. RESULTS: The porcine hamstring tendons had no measurable shrinkage in specimens heated up to 65 degrees C. At temperatures above 65 degrees C, the shrinkage was concluded within 2 min of immersion and 70 degrees C appeared to be the optimal temperature, as temperatures higher than this did not demonstrate incremental effects. The disc core samples were heated to 70 degrees C (optimum temperature), and there appeared to be gross contraction of the disc core circumference to visual inspection, but no measurable lengthwise shrinkage could be appreciated. Histologically, the specimens demonstrated progressive loss of individual collagen fiber outline as the temperature increased. In the tendons, at 75 degrees C all of the fibers appear to be fused together, and the voids between individual collagen fibers were no longer present. Biomechanical testing revealed that the tendons undergo a substantial reduction in stiffness after heating. The mean tendon stiffness for the unheated specimens was 19,356 psi, while the corresponding value for the heated tendons was 1023 psi. These were significantly different using the paired t-test at p=0.0043. For the disc core samples, there was no significant difference in either stiffness (p=0.182) or failure strength (p=0.998) after heating. All failures occurred in mid-substance of the specimen. CONCLUSIONS: The application of uniform heating to nucleus pulposus disc core caused visible contraction of its circumference but not lengthwise shrinkage. The same heating shrinks the hamstring tendon and reduces its stiffness. Ultimate failure strength of the disc core specimen remains unchanged. The failure data was not obtainable for the tendon due to premature slippage from the fixation apparatus before failure. The results of this study fail to support a biomechanical justification for the application of uniform heat treatment to the whole intervertebral disc. Heating annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus separately to specific temperatures may have potential clinical benefits.

    Title Lipids Closely Associated with Bone Morphogenetic Protein (bmp)--and Induced Heterotopic Bone Formation. With Preliminary Observations of Deficiencies in Lipid and Osteoinduction in Lathyrism in Rats.
    Date October 1997
    Journal Connective Tissue Research

    An extensive literature on bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) induced generation and regeneration shows general agreement about one observation. The incidence and quantity of bone were greatest when BMP was delivered with a carrier of various biologic and non biologic polymers. In the present research, neutral lipids either endogenous in demineralized bone matrix (DBM) or exogenous in orign were employed as a delivery system for induced heterotopic bone formation in the rectus muscle in rats. Total neutral lipids including cholesterol were measured by correlated gravimetric and Sudan Black B dye binding methods. The heterotopic bone was measured by computer assisted radiomorphometric and histologic methods. Bone formation was measured by total calcium, DNA-P, and alkaline phosphatase activity. Composites of BMP and neutral lipids, separable from phospholipids by extraction with absolute acetone, were consistently osteoinductive. A significant quantity of the total bone lipid was closely associated with and extractable from the bone matrix non-collagenous protein fraction which had high levels of BMP activity. Lathyritic matrix was very low both in dye binding and osteoinductive activity. These observations suggest the possibility that lipids may serve as a BMP carrier in the process of induced bone development.

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