Nitin N. Bhatia

Chief, Spine Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery
School of Medicine
Chair, Orthopaedic Surgery
School of Medicine

M.D., Baylor College of Medicine, 1998

Phone: (714) 456-1699
Fax: 714-456-7547

University of California, Irvine
UC Irvine Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery
Pavilion III, 2nd Flr., Rt. 81
Mail Code: 5382
Orange, CA 92868
Research Interests
Spine Surgery, Spinal instrumentation, Spine trauma, Fracture, Spinal cord injury, Spinal imaging
Academic Distinctions
The Endocrine Society Student Research Award, 1994
Pathogenic Role of Stem Cell Factor in Infertile Men with Sertoli Cell Only Syndrome.

Baylor College of Medicine-Karolinska Institute Research Fellowship Award, 1997
Compartmentalized Bone Regeneration of Cranial Defects with Biodegradable Barriers: an Animal Model.

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Basic Science High Honors, 1995
Butler Award for Academic Excellence, 1995
Alumni Award for Academic Excellence, 1996
Alpha Omega Alpha, 1997 - 1998 (elected Junior year)
Graduation with Highest Honors, 1998
Most Outstanding Research by a Medical Student, 1998
Outstanding Student in Orthopaedic Surgery, 1998
Lange Medical Research Award, Baylor College of Medicine, 1998
Class Valedictorian, 1998
Michael E. DeBakey Scholar Award, 1998

University of California, Los Angeles
Physician of the Year nominee, 2001
Emergency Department Consultant of the Year nominee, 2001

Hibbs Award Nominee, Basic Science, Scoliosis Research Society, 2005
Three-point versus Two-point fixation for Thoracolumbar Burst Fractures.

Hibbs Award Nominee, Basic Science, Scoliosis Research Society, 2005
Novel Transplantation of Preconditioned Schwann Cells Following Spinal Cord Contusion Injury.

Scoliosis Research Society
Edgar Dawson Traveling Fellowship, 2005

Outstanding Paper Nominee, Cervical Spine Research Society, 2005
Novel Transplantation of Preconditioned Schwann Cells Following Spinal Cord Contusion Injury.

University of California, Irvine
Faculty Teaching Award, Orthopaedic Surgery, 2005

American Orthopaedic Association Emerging Leaders, 2005-2009

American Orthopaedic Association - Japanese Orthopaedic Association Exchange Traveling Fellow, 2008

Outstanding Paper Award Winner, Cervical Spine Research Society, 2008
The Role of Durotomy and Duraplasty Following Cervical Spinal Cord Injury in an Animal Model.

Best Paper Award Winner, American College of Spine Surgery, 2009
The Role of Durotomy and Duraplasty Following Cervical Spinal Cord Injury in an Animal Model.

The Harold and Nancy Willingham Award for Outstanding Research Paper, Western Orthopaedic Association, 2009
Biomechanical Evaluation Of Short-Segment Posterior Instrumentation With Crosslinks In An Unstable Human Burst Fracture Model.

Hibbs Award Nominee, Basic Science, Scoliosis Research Society, 2009
Early Surgical Decompression with Duraplasty in Acute Spinal Cord Injury Improves Functional Recovery in an Animal Model.

Resident Research Award, California Orthopaedic Association, 2010
Analysis of Prognostic Factors in Chordoma Using the California Cancer Registry.

Triumvirate Grant Award, University of California, 2010
Quantitative MRI and MRA to Study Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain.

Orange County Medical Association, Physicians of Excellence, 2011-2018

Castle Connolly Top Doctors, 2016-2018

Southern California “SuperDoctors”, Los Angeles Magazine, 2012-2018

Resident Research Award, Mentor, Western Orthopaedic Association, 2018
C1-C3 Construct with Short C2 Pedicle Screws versus Goel-Harms Fixation.

Resident Research Award, Mentor, California Orthopaedic Association, 2019
Selection Pressures of Vancomycin Powder Use in Spine Surgery: A Meta-Analysis.
Research Abstract
Dr. Bhatia graduated with honors from Stanford University, after which he attended Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. During medical school, Dr. Bhatia won numerous research awards and was the valedictorian of his graduating class. Following his Orthopaedic surgery residency at UCLA, Dr. Bhatia completed a spine surgery fellowship at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, after which he completed a second spine surgery fellowship at Miami Children’s Hospital. Dr. Bhatia is active in multiple research projects including federally funded spinal cord injury research and has been nominated for the prestigious Russell Hibbs research award by the Scoliosis Research Society.

Dr. Bhatia has been featured as a treating surgeon in the television show "Guardian Angels, MD" seen nationwide on The Learning Channel (TLC) as well as programs on PBS. He has expertise in all areas of spinal pathology including spinal stenosis, disc herniations, spine trauma, scoliosis, complex cervical and lumbar reconstruction, and failed back syndrome. Dr. Bhatia has completed multiple spine surgery fellowships and has trained in both orthopaedic and neurosurgical techniques. Dr. Bhatia is a member of multiple international and national spine related organizations including the North American Spine Society. Dr. Bhatia is the only academic surgeon in Orange County to be selected for the exclusive Cervical Spine Research Society which has granted admission to less than 20 physicians in the state of California.
Transcriptional and Posttranscriptional Regulation of Inhibin alpha-Subunit Gene Expression in Rat Sertoli Cells by 8-Bromo-3’, 5’-Cyclic-Adenosine Monophosphate. Najmabadi H, Rosenberg LA, Yuan QX, Bhatia N, Albiston AL, Burger H, Bhasin S; Molecular Endocrinology, 7(4): 469-476, 1993.

Congenital Syndromes Associated with Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer. Gherardini G, Bhatia N, Stal S; Clinics of Plastic Surgery, 24(4):649-661, 1997.

Compartmentalized Bone Regeneration of Cranial Defects with Biodegradable Barriers: an Animal Model. Stal S, Tjelmeland K, Hicks J, Bhatia N, Eppley B, Hollier L; Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 12(1):51-47, 2001.

Current Information Regarding the Biochemical and Genetic Events Which Occur During Disc Degeneration. Bhatia N, Wang J; Current Opinion in Orthopaedics, 14(3):153-158, 2003.

Adjacent Segment Degeneration in the Lumbar Spine. Ghiselli G, Wang JC, Bhatia NN, Hsu WK, Dawson EG; J Bone Joint Surg Am, 86-A(7):1497-1503, 2004.

The Role of the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle Flap for Esophageal Fistula Repair in Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery. Navarro R, Javahery R, Eismont F, Arnold DJ, Bhatia NN, Vanni S, Levi AD; Spine, 30(20):617-633, 2005.

Body Mass Index in Patients with Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis: A Predictive Model. Bhatia NN, Pirpiris M, Otsuka N; Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, 26(2):197-9, 2006.

Transplantation of Preconditioned Schwann Cells in Peripheral Nerve Grafts after Contusion in the Adult Spinal Cord: Improvement of Recovery in a Rat Model. Rasouli A, Bhatia NN, Suryadevara S, Cahill K, Gupta R; J Bone Joint Surg Am. 88(11):2400-10, 2006.

Minimally Invasive Atlanto-Odontoid Joint Injection for Involvement in Rheumatoid Arthritis Kostanian VJ, Mathews MS, Westhout FD, Bhatia NN; Interventional Radiology. 12(4):359-363, 2006.

Wound Complications from Idiopathic Clubfoot Surgery: a Comparison of the Modified Turco and the Cincinnati Treatment Methods. Hsu WK, Bhatia NN, Raskin A, Otsuka NY; Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 27(3):329-332, 2007.

Transplantation of Preconditioned Schwann cells following Hemisection Spinal Cord Injury. Dinh P, Bhatia NN, Cahill K, Gupta R; Spine. 32(9):943-9, 2007.

A Prospective Evaluation of Diagnostic Modalities in Pediatric Back Pain. Bhatia NN, Chow G, Timon S, Watts HG; Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 28(2):230-3, 2008.

Orthopaedic Surgeons and Spinal Cord Injury Patients. Bhatia NN, Gupta G; AAOS Now. 3(2):2009.

Resection of Glial Scar Following Spinal Cord Injury. Rasouli A, Bhatia N, Dinh P, Cahill K, Suryadevara S, Gupta R; J Orthop Research. 27(7):931-6, 2009.

Biomechanical Evaluation of Short-Segment Posterior Instrumentation With and Without Crosslinks in a Human Cadaveric Unstable Thoracolumbar Burst Fracture Model. Wahba G, Bhatia N, Bui C, Lee K, Lee TQ; Spine. 35(3):278-85, 2010.

Advances in the Management of Spinal Cord Injury. Gupta R, Bathen M, Smith J, Levi AD, Bhatia NN, Steward O; J Am Acad Ortho Surg. 18(4):210-22, 2010.

The Role of Early Surgical Decompression of the Intra-Dural Space Following Cervical Spinal Cord Injury in an Animal Model. Smith J, Anderson R, Pham T, Bhatia N, Steward O, Gupta R; J Bone Joint Surg Am. 92(5):1206-14, 2010.

Modic Type I changes of the Lumbar Spine in Golfers. Mefford J, Sairyo K, Sakai T, Hopkins J, Inoue M, Amari R, Bhatia N, Dezawa A, Yasui N; Skeletal Radiology, 40(4):467-73, 2011.

Biomechanical Evaluation of an Expandable Cage in Single Segment Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. Bhatia NN, Lee KH, Bui CN, Luna M, Wahba GM, Lee TQ; Spine, 37(2):79-85, 2012.

MRI Changes of the Spinal Subdural Space after Lumbar Spine Surgeries: Report of Two Cases. Sakai T, Sairyo K, Bhatia NN, Miyagi R, Tamura T, Katoh S, Yasui N; Asian Spine J, 5(4):262-6, 2011.

Retrospective Study of Deep Surgical Site Infections Following Spinal Surgery and the Effectiveness of Continuous Irrigation. Chikawa T, Saka T, Bhatia NN, Sairyo K, Utsunomiya R, Nakamura M, Nakano S, Shimakawa T, Minato A; Br J Neurosurg, 25(5):621-4, 2011.

Posterior Cervical Laminoplasty in the North American Population: A Minimum of Two Year Follow-Up. Bhatia NN, Lopez G, Geck M, Gottlieb J, Eismont F; Clin Neurol Neurosurg, 138:165-168, 2015.

Anterior Thoracolumbar Reconstruction Surgery for Late Collapse Following Vertebroplasty: Report of Three Cases. Miyagi R, Sakai T, Bhatia NN, Sairyo K, Katoh S, Chikawa T; J Med Invest, 58(1-2):148-53, 2011.

Flavokawain B, a Kava Chalcone, Induces Apoptosis in Synovial Sarcoma Cell Lines. Sakai T, Ramez E, Guo Y, Kim KJ, Mefford J, Hopkins J, Bhatia NN, Zi X, Hoang BH; J of Orthop Res, 30(7):1045-50, 2012.

Drivers of Surgery for the Degenerative Hip, Knee, and Spine: A Systematic Review. Bederman SS, Rosen CD, Bhatia NN, Kiester PD, Gupta R; Clin Orthop Relat Res, Apr;470(4):1090-105, 2012.

Analysis of Prognostic Factors in Patients With Chordoma Using the California Cancer Registry. Lee J, Bhatia NN, Hoang B, Ziogas A, Zell J; J Bone Joint Surg Am, 94(4):356-63, 2012.

Endoscopic Excision of a Juxtafacet Cyst in an Adolescent Athlete: A Case Report. Hopkins J, Mefford J, Sakai T, Bhatia N, Sairyo K; J Neurol Surg A Cent Eur Neurosurg. 2013 Dec;74 Suppl 1:e66-9.

Clinical Outcomes of Spinal Surgery in Patients Treated with Hemodialysis. Chikawa T, Sakai T, Bhatia NN, Miyagi R, Sairyo K, Goda Y, Nakamura M, Nakano S, Shimakawa T, Minato A; J Spinal Dis Tech, 2013 Aug;26(6):321-4.

Diffusion-Weighted Imaging and Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Asymptomatic Lumbar Disc Herniation. Sakai, T, Miyagi, R, Yamabe, E, Fujinaga Y; Bhatia NN; Yoshioka, H; J Med Invest. 2014;61(1-2):197-203.

Fixation Techniques for Complex Traumatic Sacral Fractures: A Sytematic Review. Bederman SS, Hassan JM, Shah KN, Kiester PD, Bhatia NN, Zamorano DP; Spine, 2013 Jul 15;38(16):E1028-40.

Robotic Guidance for S2-Alar-Iliac Screws in Spinal Deformity Correction. Bederman SS, Hahn P, Colin V, Kiester DP, Bhatia NN, Clin Spine Surg, 2017 Feb;30(1)E49-E53.

32. Use of Lateral Access in the Treatment of the Revision Spine Patient. Bederman SS, Le VH, Pahlavan S, Kiester DP, Bhatia NN, Deviren V; Scientific World J, 2012:308209.

Surgical Techniques for Spinopelvic Reconstruction Following Total Sacrectomy: A Systematic Review. Bederman SS, Shah KN, Hassan JM, Hoang BH, Kiester PD, Bhatia NN; Eur Spine J, 2014 Feb;23(2):305-19.

Comparison of Two-Transsacral-Screw Fixation Versus Triangular Osteosynthesis Fixation for Transforaminal Sacral Fractures. Min KS, Zamorano DP, Wahba GM, Garcia I, Bhatia N, Lee TQ; Orthopaedics, 2014 Sept:37(9)e754-e760.

Reliability, Validitiy, and Responsiveness of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index for Elderly Patients with a Femoral Neck Fracture. HEALTH and FAITH Trial Investigators (Bhatia NN, Collaborator), J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2015 May 6:97(9):751-7.

A Trial of Wound Irrigation in the Initial Management of Open Fracture Wounds. FLOW Investigators (Bhatia NN, Collaborator), N Engl J Med, 2015 Dec 31;373(27)2629-41.

The Influence of Insurance Status on the Surgical Treatment of Acute Spinal Fractures. Daly MC, Patel MS, Bhatia NN, Bederman SS; Spine, 2016 Jan;41(1):E37-45.

Total Medical Costs of Treating Femoral Neck Fracture Patients with Hemi- or Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Cost Analysis of a Multicenter Prospective Study. HEALTH Trial Investigators (Bhatia NN, Collaborator), Osteoporosis Intl, 2016 Jun;27(6):1999-2008.

Biomechanical Analysis of an S1 Pedicle Screw Salvage Technique via a Superior Articulating Process Entry Point. Lee YP, Ihn HE, McGarry MH, Farhan SD, Bhatia N, Lee TQ; Spine, 2016 Jul 1;41(13):E778-84.

The Reliability of Neuromonitoring to Detect Neurologic Injury During Lateral Interbody Fusion. Lee YP, Gertsch J, Taylor W, Allison D, Attenello J, Nepomuceno K, Nepomuceno M, Bhatia N; Spine Research, 2015 Oct;1(5):1-6.

Patient Reported Outcome Measures: How Do Digitial Tablets Stack Up to Paper Forms? A Randomized Controlled Study. Shah KN, Hoffman MR, Schwarzkopf R, Pourmand D, Bhatia NN, Rafijah G, Bederman SS. Am J Ortho, 2016 Nov/Dec;45(7):E451-457.

Biomechanical Evaluation of Unilateral versus Bilateral C1 Lateral Mass-C2 Intralaminar Fixation. Bhatia N, Rama A, Sievers B, Quigley, R, McGarry M, Lee YP, Lee TQ; Global Spine J, 2017 May;7(3):239-45.

ICD 10 and Its Relevance to Spine Surgeons. Doermann A; Massel D; Mayo B; Kiester D, Bhatia N, Lee YP; J Contemp Spine Surg, 2016 Sept, 17(9):1-5.

Variables Affecting Return to Work After Spine Surgery in a Non-Workman’s Compensation Population: A Retrospective Cohort Study. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2017 Dec;25(12):e282-e288.

Biomechanical Comparison of C1 Lateral Mass C2 Pars and C3 Lateral Mass Screw-Rod Construct versus C1 Lateral Mass C2 Pedicle Screw Fixation for Type II Odontoid Fractures. Work in progress.

Proprionibacerium Acnes Biofilm is Present in Intervertebral Discs of Patients Undergoing Microdiscectomy. Capoor M, Ruzicka F, Schmitz J, et al incl Bhatia N, Slaby O; PLoS One, 2017; 12(4): e0174518.

How to Reduce Radiation Exposure During Spine Surgery. Covarrubias J, Say I, Bhatia N, Lee YP; Cont Spine Surg, 2017 July; 18(7):1-7.

Does the Addition of Tobramycin Decrease Infection Risk in Patients Undergoing Lumbar Spinal Instrumented Fusions. Lee YP, Farhan SD, Pendi A, Cunningham T, Kiester PD, Hahn P, Rosen CD, Bhatia N; Global Spine J, 2017 May, epub.

Wound Irrigation Does Not Affect Health-Related Quality of Life After Open Fractures: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. FLOW Investigators (Bhatia NN, Collaborator), Bone Joint J, 2018 Jan 100-B(1):88-94..

Are Large Clinical Trials in Orthopedic Trauma Justified? FLOW Investigators (Bhatia NN, Collaborator), BMC Musculo Dis, 2018 Apr 20;19(1):124.

Does Addition of Tobramycin Powder Reduce Infection Rates After Spine Surgery. Lee YP, Farhan SA, Pendi A, Cunningham T, Kiester PD, Hahn P, Rosen CD, Bhatia N; Global Spine J, 2018 May, epub.

Preferences of Spine Surgeons with Regard to Management of Intraoperative Durotomy: A Survey of Current Management. Pendi A, Wang JC, Bederman SS, Farhan SD, Bhatia NN, Lee YP, Ashraf J, Acosta FL; Clin Spine Surg, 2018 June, epub.

Biomechanical Comparison of C1 Lateral Mass – C2 Short Pedicle Screw – C3 Lateral Mass Screw Rod Construct Versus Goel-Harms Fixation for Atlantoaxial Instability. Lu Y, Lee YP, Bhatia NN, Lee TQ. Spine, 2019 Apr 1;44(7)E393-E399.

Complications Associated with Intrathecal Morphine in Spine Surgery: A Retrospective Study. Pendi A, Lee Y-P, Farhan S-A, Acosta FL, Bederman SS, Sahyouni R, Gerrick ER, Bhatia NN; J Spine Surg; 2018 Jun;4(2):387-294.

Image Guidance in Spine Surgery. Lee YP, Covarrubias J, Brown A, Valle Y, Bhatia N, Lee YP; Cont Spine Surg, Accepted for publication.
54. Outcomes and Complications After Spinal Fusion in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Lin CC, Lu Y, Patel NA, Kiester PD, Rosen CD, Bhatia NN, Lee YP; Global Spine J, 2019 May 9(3);287-291.

Selection Pressures of Vancomycin Powder Use in Spine Surgery; A Meta-Analysis. Gande A, Rosinski A, Cunningham T, Bhatia N, Lee YP; Spine J. 2019 Jun;19(6):1076-1084.

Impact of Sickle Cell Anemia on Inpatient Morbidity After Spinal Fusion. Lu Y, Lin CC, Doermann A, Patel N, Bhatia NN, Kiester PD, Rosen CD, Lee YP; Clin Spine Surg; 2019 Dec;32(10):439-443.

Impact of Cirrhosis on Morbidity and Mortality After Spinal Fusion. Lu Y, Lin CC, Stepanyan H, Alvarez AP Bhatia NN, Kiester PD, Rosen CD, Lee YP; Global Spine J; 2019 Oct; epub.

Establishing Validity of the Fundamentals of Spinal Surgery (FOSS) Simulator as a Teaching Tool for Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Trainees. Bhatia N, Palispis WA, Urakov T, Gruskay J, Haghverdian J, Yang DS, Uong J, Albert T, Vaccaro A, Levi AD, Gupta R; Spine J. 2019 Nov 18. pii: S1529-9430(19)31104-0
Professional Societies
Cervical Spine Research Society
North American Spine Society
Western Orthopaedic Association
Scoliosis Research Society
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery
Research Centers
Collaborator, Reeve-Irvine Center
Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory
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