Research Outcomes

Evidence-Based Medicine. Optimized Decision Making.

Our Research

Recognized as a Center of Excellence by the National Spine Health Foundation, VSI is dedicated to advanced research that contributes to progressing the effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment of spinal conditions and disorders. The physicians at VSI serve as principal investigators for multiple concurrent clinical trials and research, all at different stages. Some studies are actively recruiting patients, while others are closed to new enrollment but continue to monitor the patients through follow-up. All of the research conducted is overseen by an institutional review board designed to coordinate investigators and patients to ensure the safety of all patients undergoing medical research. These studies and trials are conducted with the goal of improving spinal health care for generations to come.

VSI’s Latest Findings

Preventing Opioid Overuse After Surgery

“Opioids are extremely important for pain control after spine surgery,” explains Dr. Christopher Good, spine surgeon and president of VSI. “We prescribe two weeks at a time, estimate what’s needed, and re-adjust as we go. But this research shows that, often, the patient doesn’t use all they’re given.”

Past Research

Exploring Innovations in Spinal Health and Patient Care

Spine surgeons Dr. Ehsan Jazini, Dr. Christopher Good, Dr. Thomas Schuler, and Dr. Colin Haines, of VSI in Reston, VA, have been honored by the Global Spine Journal with its 2022 Best Paper Award for their research on augmented reality (AR). The Journal’s Editor-in-Chief has announced the paper “Augmented Reality-Assisted Spine Surgery: An Early Experience Demonstrating Safety and Accuracy with 218 Screws” has won a Global Spine Journal’s 2022 Best Paper Award.

New research studies from spine surgeons at (VSI) have uncovered groundbreaking research that will help set new prescription guidelines to protect surgery patients from risks of opioid addiction and overdose.

“Opioids are extremely important for pain control after spine surgery,” explains Dr. Christopher Good. “We prescribe two weeks at a time, estimate what’s needed, and re-adjust as we go. But this research shows that, often, the patient doesn’t use all they’re given.” 

“In a pill count study within our own practice, we found nearly half of patients (45%) had unused opioids 90 days after their procedure.”

Through another research study done by VSI, on a national level they gathered data from 50 U.S. medical centers and more than 50,000 patients, which found that ‘Enhanced Recovery After Surgery’ (ERAS) – a series of standardized protocols surgeons use to obtain the best outcomes – reduced post-spine surgery opioid consumption by 50 percent; reduced hospital stays; and cut back on readmissions.

Dr. Good says this groundbreaking research is just the tip of the iceberg. “Our job now is to find a better balance with prescribing opioids. In the process of making those changes, we have been able to reduce leftover pill counts by 30-50 percent.” 

A 28-year-old male regained virtually all motion at C5-C6 after total disc replacement surgery with prodisc C Vivo. Dr. Ehsan Jazini treated this young patient with right-sided neck pain and right bicep, dorsal forearm, and first- and second-digit pain and numbness.

Endoscopic spine surgery (ESS) is an advanced form of minimally invasive spine surgery. This intricate procedure begins with an incision less than 1 inch long. A flexible endoscope and camera provide the surgeon with a close-up surgical site view. Tiny tube-shaped retractors minimize the need for soft tissue and muscle involvement.

Dr. Haines has performed endoscopic spine surgeries for more than five years. He says the field has rapidly evolved since he learned ESS surgical techniques in his residency and fellowship.

“As I developed a practice focused directly on personalized patient care… I realized that there were many conditions that could be treated by tiny incisions as opposed to large ones.

“By using endoscopic surgical techniques, I can now treat the same conditions that other spine surgeons are fixing, but doing so with less pain and faster return to activity,” Dr. Haines concluded.

Best Paper 2023. “90-Day Complication and Revision Surgery Rates Using Navigated Robotics in Thoracolumbar Spine Surgery” Podium Presentation at the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, San Francisco, California, June 1-3, 2023

Podium Presentation at the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques, Dublin, Ireland (March 2023)

North American Spine Society Journal (November 2022)

Podium Presentation at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chicago, IL (March 2022)

Orthopedics Clinic of North America (April 2023)

Poster Presentation at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Las Vegas, NV (March 2023)

 Stem Cells International (December 2022)

Special Poster Nominee – ISSLS 2022. Poster Presentation at the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, Boston, MA (May 2022)
Podium Presentation at the Global Spine Congress, Las Vegas, NV (June 2022)

Podium Presentation at North American Spine Society 35th Annual Meeting, virtual (October 8 2020)