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Douglas C. Burton, MD

Douglas Burton portrait
Professor, Marc & Elinor Asher Spine Professor, Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

Professional Background

Douglas Burton, M.D. is the Marc and Elinor Asher Spine Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He received his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS and his MD from the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, TX. He completed his residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center and completed spine fellowships at The Texas Back Institute in Plano, TX and at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. In 2003 he was awarded the Marc and Elinor Asher Spine Professorship.

Dr. Burton’s clinical practice is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of complex spinal disorders in both pediatric and adult patients. In addition to his primary practice location at the University of Kansas Hospital, he also travels to both Hutchinson and Salina, KS for a monthly outreach clinic to provide health care to patients in rural parts of Kansas.

He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Association, the Interurban Orthopaedic Society, the North American Spine Society and the Scoliosis Research Society, where he is the incoming Chair-Elect of the Research Council and member of the Board of Directors. He served as President of the Federation of Spine Associations from 2018 to 2019.

In 2019, The American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons announced a new partnership, the American Spine Registry (ASR), which will be jointly owned and developed by both organizations. Dr. Burton currently serves as co-chair of the Data Use Committee for the ASR.

His research interests include the development of disease specific health related quality of life instruments and the study of complications and outcomes associated with spinal deformity surgery. He has authored or co-authored over 236 peer reviewed publications and serves as a Deputy Editor of Spine Deformity, the official journal of the Scoliosis Research Society.

In 2006 he helped found and remains on the Executive Council of the International Spine Study Group. This is a consortium of spinal deformity surgeons and researchers at over 15 top academic centers in the United States and Canada with collaborators in Europe and Japan. They have been performing prospective and retrospective studies on surgical and non-surgical Adult Spinal Deformity patients since their inception.

Education and Training
  • BA, Physical Science, Kansas St. U.
  • MD, Medical Doctor, Univ. of Texas-Southwestern Me
  • Residency, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
  • Clinical Fellowship, Texas Back Institute, Plano, TX
  • Clinical Fellowship, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Professional Affiliations
  • North American Spine Society, Abstract reviewer, abstract reviewer for program committee, 2017 - 2017
  • AOSpine of North America, Member, 2016 - Present
  • Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Vice Chairmand of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Vice Chair, 2013 - Present
  • International Spine Study Group Foundation, Member, 2011 - Present
  • International Spine Study Group Foundation, Treasurer, 2011 - Present
  • Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Promotion and Tenure Committee, Member, 2008 - Present
  • Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Promotion and Tenure Committee, Chair, 2008 - 2014

Current Research and Grants
  • Prospective radiographic and clinical evaluation of surgical treatment for cervical eformity: A multi-center study, DePuy Spine, PI
  • Meng, B, Bunch, J, Burton, D, Wang, J. 2021. Lumbar interbody fusion: recent advances in surgical techniques and bone healing strategies.. European spine journal : official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 30 (1), 22-33
  • Erwin, J, Carlson, B., B, Bunch, J, Jackson, R., S, Burton, D. 2020. Impact of unoperated adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in adulthood: a 10-year analysis.. Spine deformity
  • Mar, D., E, Clary, S., J, Burton, D., C, McIff, T., E. 2019. Biomechanics of Prophylactic Tethering for Proximal Junctional Kyphosis: Characterization of Spinous Process Tether Pretensioning and Pull-Out Force.. Spine deformity, 7 (2), 191-196
  • Passias, P., G, Segreto, F., A, Lafage, R, Lafage, V, Smith, J., S, Line, B., G, Scheer, J., K, Mundis, G., M, Hamilton, D., K, Kim, H., J, Horn, S., R, Bortz, C., A, Diebo, B., G, Vira, S, Gupta, M., C, Klineberg, E., O, Burton, D., C, Hart, R., A, Schwab, F., J, Shaffrey, C., I, Ames, C., P, Bess, S. 2019. Recovery kinetics following spinal deformity correction: a comparison of isolated cervical, thoracolumbar, and combined deformity morphometries.. The spine journal : official journal of the North American Spine Society, 19 (8), 1422-1433