An Interview with Dr.Camden Whitaker
What makes your practice unique?
I think what makes my practice unique is a combination of academics and private practice. I give lectures all over the country, and I’m on the frontline of research and cutting edge new technologies. I attend all the major academic meetings, but I’m also able to juggle the private practice aspect using these new techniques and technology that are really present in academia. I bring that into the private practice a lot sooner than a purely private practitioner could do. I think I’m unique in the fact that I can take care of any condition in the spine from the cervical down to the lumbar. I’ve had two fellowships in spine from the Rothman Institute and Texas Back Institute, two very different places, and that has given me a great perspective on the techniques and technologies that I put forth for my patients. On a personal note, I love where I am. I grew up in Kansas, and now I work in Kansas. I love the state, and I love being here and raising my family.
What are your spinal and clinical interests?
A lot of my interests revolve around new technology. We’ve been involved in several research projects involving technology in minimally invasive surgery, new grafts, and techniques. These are things I’m excited about doing. We’ve also developed instrumentation for companies, and we’ve been on the forefront of trying to advance the science of spine.
How important is patient education to you?
Patient education is extremely important to me. One of my jobs as a surgeon is to provide the patient with information so they can make the best decision that’s right for them in terms of treatment strategies, whether it be conservative with injections and physical therapy or possibly a surgical solution. I’m very aware of the need to educate my patients. I continue to do so throughout the treatment course, providing them with the resources they need to give them a better understanding of what to expect.
You said you perform minimally invasive surgery. Why would someone choose minimally invasive over a more traditional open approach.
We do perform minimally invasive surgery, using the navigation system and the O-arm. We also have been doing a lot of minimally invasive lateral approaches to the spine. I believe the advantage of minimally invasive surgery is obtaining the same outcomes as traditional surgery but doing it through a technique that’s less traumatic and allows for faster recovery and return to work. Minimally invasive surgery can be used in conjunction with open surgery to produce an outcome that in the past would take us much more time and risk in the operating room. With these new techniques, we’re getting people feeling better faster and returning to work quicker.
Texas Back Institute
August 2003 – August 2004
Rothman Spine Institute/Thomas Jefferson University
Post-Fellowship Spine Trauma Rotation
August 1 to September 15 2004
University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita
Orthopedic Surgery Residency
1998 – 2003
Shriners Children Hospital
Associated with Washington University Orthopaedic Residency
St. Louis, MO
January 2002 – July 2002
University of Kansas School of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine
Kansas City, Kansas
1994 – 1998
University of Kansas
Bachelor of Arts Honors Human Biology
1990 – 1994
Naval Academy Preparatory School
Graduate Midshipman candidate
Naval Education and Training Center, July 1989 – June 1990
Appointment to United States Naval Academy, Class of 1994
Newport, Rhode Island
Medical Society of Sedgwick County
Kansas Medical Society
Mid-Central States Orthopaedic Society
American Medical Association
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Spine Training: Fellowship, Residency, Medical School
Texas Back Institute – Drs. Zigler, Guyer, Sachs, Rashbaum, Hochschuler, Blumenthal, Hisey, Bosita
University of Texas Southwestern Neurosurgery Spine Trauma Roation – Dr. Kevin Morrill
Post Fellowship Cervical Spine and Trauma Rotation: Rothman Spine Institute: Philadeplphia, PA Drs. Alex Vacarro, Todd Albert, Allan Hilibrand
University of Kansas – Wichita Dr. Alan Moskowitz
St. Louis Shriners Children Hospital – Drs. Lawrence Lenke, Keith Bridwell
University of Kansas – Kansas City -Drs. Marc Asher, Doug Burton
Orthopaedic Spine Research, Presentation and Publication: Researching the return to work of total disc arthroplasty compared to stand alone anterior interbody fusion and circumferential fusion. Accepted for podium and presentation at Spinal Arthroplasty Society Meeting, Vienna, Austria May 4-7, 2004. Will also submit to NASS, AAOS 2005 meeting. Coordination with Drs. Zigler, Sachs, Hochschuler, Blumenthal and Guyer of Texas Back Institute
Orthopaedic Spine Research, Presentation and Publication: Researching the return to work of Prodisc versus SB Charite. Coordination with Drs. Zigler, Sachs, Hochschuler, Blumenthal and Guyer of Texas Back Institute. Awaiting FDA approval.
Orthopaedic Spine Research, Presentation and Publication: Researching the complications of total disc arthroplasty compared to stand alone anterior interbody fusion and circumferential fusion. Accepted to ISSLS 2004 Meeting, and Spinal Arthroplasty Meeting 2004. Will also submit to NASS and AAOS 2005 meeting. Coordination with Drs. Zigler, Sachs, Hochschuler, Blumenthal and Guyer of Texas Back Institute.
Orthopeadic Spine Research, Presentation and Publication: Researching the complications of Prodisc versus SB Charite. Coordination with Drs. Zigler, Sachs, Hochschuler, Blumenthal and Guyer of Texas Back Institute. Awaiting FDA approval.
Orthopaedic Spine Research: Study comparing the electromyographic recordings of lumbar percutaneous pedicle screws using plastic and metallic dilators. One hundred pedicle screws will be tested with plastic and then metallic dilator sleeves. A study to help determine safe screw placement for percutaneous pedicle screws. Reached statistically significance at 27 screws. Accepted as poster at American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon Meeting 2005. Coordination with Drs. Zigler, Guyer, Blumenthal and Hisey
Orthopaedic Spine Publication: Complicatinos in Posterior Cervical Spine Surgery. Monograph for American Academy of Orthopaedics. In coordination with Dr. Allan Hillibrand.
Orthopaedic Spine Publication: Adolescent Idiopathic Scholiosis. Brochure for North American Spine Society. In coordination with Dr. Barton Sachs.
Lumbar Disc Replacement Lecture. Faculty Position. Advances in Techniques in Degenerative Lumbar and Cervical Disorders Meeting. Santa Fe, February 27-28, 2004.
Orthopaedic Spine Research, Presentation, and Publication – Case study of Isola posterior instrumentation and fusion of neuromuscular spinal deformities. Coordination with Dr. Marc Asher and Dr. Douglas Burton Summer 1997 to 2000. Published in Spine Sept. 15, 2000 issue and Scoliosis Research Society Publication.
Scoliosis Research Society – 34th annual meeting .San Diego, California. Sept. 23-25, 1999. Research presented.
North American Spine Society – Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois. Oct. 20-23, 1999. Research Presented.
International Research Society of Spinal Deformities Conference- 1998 Meeting. Burlington, VERMONT. July 1998 .Presented above research.
Medical and Graduate Student Research Forum 1998- a general audience research presentation day at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Orthopaedic Spine Research and Publication: Case Report: Hyperkyphosis an Indicator of Syringomyelia in Adolescent “Idiopathic” Scoliosis. In coordination with Dr. Lawrence Lenke, Washington University and Shriners Children Hospital, Saint Louis, Missouri. Spring of 2002. Published in Spine 2003; 28(1):E16-E20
Orthopaedic Spine Research and Publication: The use of Halo traction in large, rigid scoliosis deformities. Retrospective review of 50 cases in preparation for publication and presentation. In coordination with Dr. Lawrence Lenke, Washington University and Shriners Children Hospital, Saint Louis, Missouri. Accepted to SRS and AAOS as podium/poster presentation 3/03 and 4/03 respectively. Published in Spine, Feb. 15, 2005; Vol. 30, No. 4, S475
Orthopaedic Spine Research and Publication: Complications Related to Perioperative Halo Traction in the Treatment of Severe Scoliosis: Scoliosis Research Society 2002 Meeting presented as an e-poster: AS Rinella, MD; LG Lenke, MD; C Whitaker, MD; J Whorton, RN
Purpose: We analyzed consecutive cases of severe scoliosis treated with perioperative halo traction. Methods: 27 pts. with severe scoliosis of various etiologies were analyzed. Possible treatment protocols included traction-PSF, ASF-traction-PSF,traction-ASF-traction-PSF,and other.
Orthopaedic Spine Research: Data collection extending the adolescent idiopathic scoliosis classification of Dr. Lenke to infantile and juvenile idiopathics. Retrospecitive Review of 110 cases. In coordination with Dr. Lawrence Lenke and Dr. Mathew Dobbs, Washington University and Shriners Children Hospital, Saint Louis, Missouri
Orthopaedic Hand Research and Publication – Case report: Primary, Non-traumatic Mycobacterium Avium Complex Osteomyelitis of the Distal Phalanx. In coordination with Dr. George L. Lucas. May of 2004, published in American Journal of Orthopedics, Vol. XXXIII, No. 5
Orthopaedic Total Joint Research: Biomechanical research implanting femoral stems and measuring subsidence. Subsidence of femoral prosthesis comparing vacuum versus hand mixed cement. Preparing for publication. In coordination with Dr. David McQueen and Orthopaedic Research Institute.
Sponsorship: Howmedica Osteonics donation of $100,000.00 in supplies and implants.
Grant: Kansas University School of Medicine – Wichita Research Development Seed Grant received $3,000.00 for research.
Presentation: Poster Presentation at American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Spring 2003. Selected by the Scientific Program Committee for publication in the Academy Newsletter to be highlighted during the AAOS 2003, New Orleans Meeting
Presentation: Podium Presentation at Mid America Orthopaedic Society Meeting, Hilton Head, North Carolina, April 2003.
Presentation: Poster Presentation at AOA Resident Meeting, Memphis Tennessee.
Presentation: Podium Presentation at the Kansas Orthopaedic Soceity Meeting, September 2002. Placed first in research competition.
Presentation: Medical and Graduate Student Research Forum 2002, 2003- Presented the above research during a general audience research presentation day at the University of Kansas Medical Center, which encompassed research from all faculties on the campus.
Presentation: Mid-Central States Orthopaedic Society Meeting, Kansas City. June 12-15, 2003. Podium presentation. Winner of the Henry Marsh Research Award, and Orthopaedic Research and Educaiton Foundation Award for best resident research.
Orthopaedic Total Joint Research: Biomechanical research identifying porosity at the femoral stem centralizer and its relationship with subsidence. Preparing for publication and presentations. In coordination with Dr. David McQueen and Orthopaedic Research Institute.
Orthopaedic Oncology Case Report, Research and Presentation: Honors Pathology and Project presented during Pathology Grand Rounds. Selected for Honors Pathology from top pathology grades 1995. Case Report of Nonepoiphyseal Giant Cell Tumor with Atypia. Fall 1995 through Spring 1997. Correspondence with Dr. Joseph Mirra, author of Bone Tumors. Director Orthopedic Pathology. Orthopedic Hospital, Los Angeles, CA.
Orthopaedic Anatomy Review Manual
Anatomy review for Orthopedic In-Training Examination and cadaver dissection.
Title of Project: Pocket Orthopaedics: an Orthopaedic Manual
Preparing for publication.
Title of Project: Pocket Spine: a Spine Manual
Current status of Project: Preparing for Publication with Quality Medical Publishers.
Case Report: Catastrophic Failure of an Expandable Rod in a Tibial Non-Union.
Preparing for publication.
Case Report: Voluntary Subluxation of the Scapula: a Case Report. Preparing for publication.
Resident coordinator of Residency Fairs at University of Kansas, Kansas City and Wichita Campuses.
Interview Resident Coordinator for Orthopedic Surgery Interviews: created and presented slide show and hospital tours
Panel of Medicine: Selected to talk to third year medical students about residency decisions.
Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Lecturer: Annual slide shows presented to Wichita State University physical therapy and physician assistant students.
University of Kansas School of Medicine – Kansas City
Oncology Case Report Research, Presentation and Publication. Case Report of Serious Cystadenofibroma in an Ectopic Ovary. Published Kansas Medicine, November 1997.
Medical Student Assembly Representative- Elected Medical Class Representative, 1994-1997
All Student Governing Council – Elected Medical Student Representative, 1994-1997
Student Union Board of Directors – Elected All Student Governing Council Representative, 1994-1996
Vice President of All Student Governing Council – Elected, 1995
Dean Search Committee – Student Representative, August 1995
Microbiology Advisory and Curriculum Committee – Student Representative
Patient/Research/Education Committee – Elected All Student Governing Representative, Summer 1995
Informatics Committee – Elected All Student Governing Council Representative, 1994
History of Medicine – Non Credit Elective, Fall 1994
University of Kansas – Graduated with Honors and Distinction
Phi Beta Kappa – National Honor Fraternity – 1994
Graduated with Distinction (Top 10%) and Honors in Human Biology
Phi Delta Theta – Scholar of the Year 1994
Howard Hughes Biomedical Scholarship Program, 1990-1994
Golden Key Honor Society- 1992-1994
Alpha Chi Sigma – Chemistry Honors Fraternity
Honors Spanish and Microbiology Classes
Howard Hughes Biomedical Scholarship Program – 1990-1994
Phi Delta Theta, National Social Fraternity – As philanthropy hairman raised $25,000 for Kansas City ALS Chapter 1993, House Manager, Headstart Coordinator, Park Clean-up Project, Spring 1990 through Spring 1994
Student Senate – Elected Member of Phi Delta Theta, 1990
Bioethics Club – Original Member 1992-1994
Intramural Basketball Champions 1990-1994, Floor Hockey Second Place 1991, Softball, Soccer, Volleyball, and Flag Football – 1990-1994
Department of Entomology, Physiology and Cell Biology.
University of Kansas – Undergraduate Research
Honors Human Biology Research, Presentation and Paper.
“The Effect of Varying Patch Densities on the Foraging Behavior of the Fruit Fly, Drosophila melanogasler” Summer 1993 to Spring 1994
Naval Academy Preparatory School
Appointment to Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, Class of 1994 with two nominations by Congresswoman Jan Myers
Commanding Officer’s Iron Man Annual Award: The Model Midshipman
Platoon Commander of Color Platoon for Three Semesters
All Manchester Basketball Tournament Team
Varsity Letter and Captained Soccer Team, recruited to play soccer by Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Varsity Letter and Captained Basketball Team
Club indoor soccer team
Shawnee Mission East High School: Johnson County, Kansas
Research and Publication with University of Missouri Kansas City and Liberty Memorial Foundation. World War 1: The Posters of War. Published as a brochure for patron distribution. Summer 1988.
All State, All County Four Year Varsity Letter Soccer, Captained Jr/Sr year
Club Select Soccer Team – #1 in Kansas, 16 tournaments
All County, Two Year Varsity Letter Basketball, Captained Senior year
President of Spanish National Honor Society
National Honor Society
Beta Club with Community Project
Pep Club and SADD
Wrote for Trunk Line, a young republican publication
Alateen program director for a summer
Science Knowledge Bowl – 1989
Work Camp with Habitat for Humanity
Study Classical Piano for nine years
Musicals: Theater in the Park (five)
Founder of FCA chapter and youth leader