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Charles D. Rosen, M.D.Spine Surgery

Charles D. Rosen, M.D.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Rosen specializes in spinal disorders having completed advanced fellowship training in spinal surgery and rehabilitation in 1989. Dr. Rosen has been in practice for 30 years and is an expert in the diagnosis of spinal problems. His specialty in spinal surgery is in patients with spinal degeneration, suffering from herniated discs, spinal stenosis, instability and all the other consequences of this in the neck and lumbar spine He enjoys taking his time and talking with patients.

He is also President of the Association for Medical Ethics (can be accessed at He co - founded this for the purpose of lessening the invasive influence of industry by doctors’ who are paid consultants for medical device and pharmaceutical companies, and to provide a forum for the presentation of spinal surgery research without company bias.

Research Interests

His research has varied from developing a more accurate model of spinal biomechanics to ethics and spinal injuries.. This has arisen out of his nationally recognized expertise in evaluating the failure of artificial lumbar disc replacements, and in their treatment. After reviewing numerous failed disc replacements, he believes the current disc replacements being implanted all have an inherent flaw. This flaw is in the disc design being based on an erroneous model of spinal motion.


Dr. Rosen received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical doctorate degree from the University of California, San Diego. He completed his general surgery internship at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic Institute in New York City. He completed fellowship training in Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center. He currently serves as Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine where he practices and teaches. Additionally, he volunteers weekly at the Long Beach VA. He is board certified, and re-certified, by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, an active member of the North American Spine Society, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons , and the current President of the Association for Medical Ethics.

Medical Degree

  • University of California, San Diego


  • Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic Institute


  • Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation, Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery

Honors and Awards

  • U.S. Surgeon General short list for nomination by Obama administration in December 2008
  • Albert M. Betcher Scholarship Award
    • Fellowship Study in Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic Institute New York, New York
  • Robert Hamburger Memorial Thesis Award
    • Runner-up for Senior Medical School Thesis, 130 papers submitted, “Education in Medical School”University of California, San Diego School of MedicineLa Jolla California
  • Gold Medal in Figure Skating (Ice Dancing)
    • Trained with the United States Olympic Team Coach (1972-1975), winning numerous medals in competition. Appeared twice on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.


  • Charles C. Lin, BSE; Young Lu, MD; Nilay A. Patel, MD; P. Douglas Kiester, MD; ChMD; Nitin N. Bhatia, MD; Yu-Po Lee, MD; Outcomes and Complications After Spinal with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The Global Spine Journal. Published August 13, 2018
  • Rosen, Charles MD; Kiester, Douglas MD; Lee, Thay PhD: Pseudo-Pedicle Heterotopic Ossification From Use of Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 (rhBMP-2) in Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Cage, American Journal of Orthopedics in press January 29, 2018.
  • Yu-Po Lee, MD; Saifal-Deen Farhan, MD; Douglas Kiester, MD; Charles Rosen, MD; Arif Pendi, MS; Nitin Bhatia, MD Variables Affecting Return to Work After Spine Surgery in a Non-Workers' Compensation Population: A Retrospective Cohort Study. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, December 2017, 25(12):e282-e288.
  • S. Samuel Bederman MD, PhD, FRCSC, Charles D. Rosen MD, Nitin N. Bhatia MD, FACS, P. Douglas Kiester MD, Ranjan Gupta MD Drivers of Surgery for the Degenerative Hip, Knee, and Spine: A Systematic Review, Clin Orthop Relat Res (2012) 470:1090–1105
  • Guest Editor of Vol 2, #3, 2011 edition of the Journal of Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine - Conflicts of Interest
  • Rosen, Charles D., It’s Not About the Money , The Spine Journal (11) 2011 pg 700-702
  • Perret, D and Rosen, C., A Physician-Driven Solution—The Association for Medical Ethics, The Physician Payment Sunshine Act, and Ethical Challenges in Pain Medicine: Pain Medicine 2011; 12; 1361-1375
  • Rosen, C., Wall Street Medicine: Prescription for Profit: J. of Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine Vol 2, #3, 2011
  • Sanjum P. Samagh, MS; Charles D. Rosen, MD; Karimdad Otarodifard, MD; Matthew Kornswiet, MS; Gabe Palmer, BS; Thay Q. Lee, PhD* New method for determining apparent axial center of rotation of lumbar and thoracic spine segments. Journal of Research, Rehabilitation and Development Vol 48, #5, 2011
  • Rosen, Charles, MD “ The Association for Medical Ethics and the Physician Payment Sunshine Act” Ethics in Biology, Engineering, and Medicine – An International Journal 2010; Vol 1, Issue 3
  • Rosen C. “New Devices and Truly Informed Consent”. Virtual Mentor – AMA J. of Ethics 2010; 12:73-76. http://virtualmentor.ama- Accessed February 1, 2010.
  • Charles Rosen, Douglas Kiester, Thay Q. Lee: “The Potential Biomechanical Etiology for Lumbar Disc Replacement Failures: Review of 29 Patients and the Rationale for Revision”. ORTHOPAEDICS October 2009
  • C. Rosen & D. Kiester : “Lumbar Disc Replacements, the FDA , and A New Model of Lumbar Spine Motion” . The Internet Journal of Minimally Invasive Spinal Technology. 2007 Volume 1 Number 1
  • 2. Tehranzadeh, J., Ton, JD, Rosen, C., “Advances in Spinal Fusion.” Seminars in Ultrasound CT and MRI, Vol. 26, No. 2, April 2005, pp103-113.
  • Garland, Rosen, et al., “Osteoporosis after Spinal Cord Injury.” Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1992, pp 371-378.
  • Rosen, et al., “Lumbar Facet Fracture as a Possible Source of Pain after Lumbar Laminectomy,”Spine, V. 16, No. 62, pp 234-238.
  • Stewart, Rosen, et al., “Heterotopic Ossification Effect on Dual Photon Absorptiometry of the Hip.” Clinical Nuclear Medicine, October 1990, Vol. 15, No. 10, pp 697-700.
  • Rosen, et al., “A Retrospective Analysis of the Efficacy of Epidural Steroid Injections.” Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, V. 228, March 1988, pp 70-.
  • Garland, Rosen, et al., “Bone Mineral Distribution Five Years or More after Spinal Cord Injury.”Journal of Nuclear Medicine. V. 30, No. 5, May 1989, p 857.
  • Sharnoff, Rosen, et al., “Prevention of Fatal Pulmonary Thromboembolism by Small Dose Heparin Prophylaxis.” The British Journal of Clinical Practice, V. 35, November 1981, pp 390-392.

In The News

The Doctor vs. Device Makers

Dr. Charles Rosen is on a mission to end the conflicts of interest between manufacturers and physicians

The Doctor vs. Device Makers

In February, spine surgeon Dr. Charles D. Rosen stood before the Senate Special Committee on Aging and chastised the medical device industry for its unethical marketing practices. Rosen, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of California at Irvine, told legislators that surgeons often receive huge consulting fees from companies in return for using the manufacturers’ products or promoting them as participants of medical societies and business ventures. "Patients usually don’t know of this conflict, which leads frequently to unnecessary implants and surgery," he told 20 senators.

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