Christopher Witiw




Christopher Witiw entered the neurosurgery residency program at the University of Toronto after completing his MD at the University of Manitoba in 2012. During his residency he completed a MS degree with a focus on Health Economics at The University of Chicago after receiving an award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. His thesis on the value of surgery for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Paper Award from the North American Spine Society in 2016. He has received numerous other awards including the Shafie S. Fazel Outstanding Resident Surgeon and Investigator Award from the University of Toronto Department of Surgery and the Alan R. Hudson Neurosurgery Resident Teaching Award from the University of Toronto Division of Neurosurgery. After obtaining his FRCSC in Neurosurgery in 2018, Chris undertook a subspecialty fellowship in Complex and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Chris returns to Toronto as a Surgeon Investigator at St. Michael’s Hospital where his clinical work is directed toward treating the full spectrum of spinal disorders. He has a specific interest in minimally invasive approaches to spinal conditions. Chris’ research work is centered on Health Economics and Health Services pertinent to spinal pathology and he is especially interested in ‘big data’ analytics as a means to optimize efficiency and quality of spine surgery.

Recent Publications

  1. Balas, M, Scheepers, RM, Zador, Z, Ibrahim, GM, Premji, L, Witiw, CD et al.. Profiling medical specialties and informing aspiring physicians: a data-driven approach. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2023; :. doi: 10.1007/s10459-023-10283-2. PubMed PMID:37698730 .
  2. Malhotra, AK, Patel, B, Hoeft, CJ, Shakil, H, Smith, CW, Jaffe, R et al.. Association between Trauma Center Type and Mortality for Injured Children with Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2023; :. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000004126. PubMed PMID:37599416 .
  3. Jack, A, Rajshekar, M, Witiw, CD, Curran, MWT, Olson, JL, Morhart, MJ et al.. Characterization of Spinal Cord Injury Patients for Arm Functional Restoration through Nerve Transfer. Can J Neurol Sci. 2023; :1-5. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2023.255. PubMed PMID:37545347 .
  4. Balas, M, Jaja, BNR, Harrington, EM, Jack, AS, Hofereiter, J, Malhotra, AK et al.. Earlier Tracheostomy Reduces Complications in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury in Real-World Practice: Analysis of a Multicenter Cohort of 2001 Patients. Neurosurgery. 2023; :. doi: 10.1227/neu.0000000000002575. PubMed PMID:37341486 .
  5. Malhotra, AK, Shakil, H, Harrington, EM, Fehlings, MG, Wilson, JR, Witiw, CD et al.. Early surgery compared to nonoperative management for mild degenerative cervical myelopathy: a cost-utility analysis. Spine J. 2023; :. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2023.06.003. PubMed PMID:37302415 .
  6. Shakil, H, Jaja, BNR, Zhang, PF, Jaffe, RH, Malhotra, AK, Harrington, EM et al.. Assessment of the incremental prognostic value from the modified frailty index-5 in complete traumatic cervical spinal cord injury. Sci Rep. 2023;13 (1):7578. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-34708-5. PubMed PMID:37165004 PubMed Central PMC10172291.
  7. Merali, Z, Zhang, PF, Jaffe, RH, Jaja, BNR, Harrington, EM, Malhotra, AK et al.. Multicenter retrospective cohort study of the association between surgery for odontoid fractures in the elderly and in-hospital outcomes. Sci Rep. 2023;13 (1):6276. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-33158-3. PubMed PMID:37072405 PubMed Central PMC10113203.
  8. Burgess, L, Zeng, KL, Myrehaug, S, Soliman, H, Tseng, CL, Detsky, J et al.. Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Posterior Element-Only Spinal Metastases: A First Report on Outcomes and Validation of Recommended Clinical Target Volume Delineation Practice. Pract Radiat Oncol. 2023;13 (4):321-327. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2023.03.009. PubMed PMID:36997023 .
  9. Jaja, BNR, Witiw, CD, Harrington, EM, He, Y, Moghaddamjou, A, Fehlings, MG et al.. Analysis of recovery trajectories in degenerative cervical myelopathy to facilitate improved patient counseling and individualized treatment recommendations. J Neurosurg Spine. 2023; :1-9. doi: 10.3171/2023.1.SPINE221053. PubMed PMID:36933253 .
  10. Fuetsch, M, Proemmel, P, Witiw, CD. Complete Resection of a Recurrent Cervical Dumbbell Schwannoma After Initial Subtotal Resection and Radiotherapy: 2-Dimensional Operative Video. Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2022;23 (5):e324. doi: 10.1227/ons.0000000000000377. PubMed PMID:36227255 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

Assistant Professor, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto