FORE Loses a Friend and Visionary Researcher

Dr. Tony Castellvi “Doc” was an irreplaceable part of what we do at FORE and he will be sorely missed by everyone in our organization. He will be remembered for his humor, his larger than life personality, and his willingness to share his wisdom and expertise with his colleagues, fellows and our team. 2014 would have been the 9th year that FORE has partnered with Doc to run his “Current Solutions in Spine Surgery” Course in the Florida Keys.

As medical director of the spinal component of the Phillip Spiegel Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, Dr. Castellvi served as lead investigator on biomechanical projects that evaluated new and emerging fusion and motion preserving technologies designed to treat patients with back pain related to degenerative conditions of the cervical and lumbar spine. Under his leadership, the biomechanical engineering group evaluated the efficacy of laterally placed interbody fusion cages placed through a less invasive surgical approach that are designed to alleviate back pain while promoting bony fusion at the affected lumbar level. This work resulted in three peer-reviewed manuscripts published in elite spine journals.

  • Castellvi et al. “A Cadaveric Radiographic Analysis on the Effect of Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion Cage Placement with Supplementary Internal Fixation on Indirect Spine Decompression.” Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques  2014
  • Castellvi et al. “Biomechanics of Lateral Plate vs. Pedicle Screw Construct in Lumbar Spine Instrumented at Two Levels with the XLIF Cage.” The Spine Journal 2013
  • Castellvi et al. “Effects of Inadvertent Vertebral Endplate Fracture Subsequent to Lateral Interbody Cage Placement on Kinematics and Indirect Spine Decompression in Lumbar Fusion Constructs:  A Cadaveric Study.” International Journal of Spine2014

Further, these research endeavors received special recognition at two international spine conferences.  At the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2011, Dr. Castellvi’s work was nominated for the prestigious Whitecloud Award for Best Basic Science Research.  The same year at the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS) meeting in Las Vegas, his work was recognized as one of the best minimally invasive surgery papers presented at the conference.  This study alone has had global impact on the use of this minimally invasive surgical approach to treat low back pain.

More recent biomechanical studies spearheaded by Dr. Castellvi include the evaluation of a new integrated interbody fusion device that can be used to address degeneration in the cervical spine as well as the evaluation of a second generation total facet replacement device. These works have also been presented at multiple international meetings including ISASS, the Orthopaedic Research Society, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the North American Spine Society.  One of these recent research projects was published just this year in The Spine Journal, which is the highest ranked spine journal in the world.

  • Castellvi et al. “Biomechanics of an Integrated Interbody Device Versus ACDF Anterior Locking Plate in a Single-Level Cervical Spine Fusion Construct.” The Spine Journal 2014

Dr. Castellvi had a true passion for basic science spine research and his contributions in the laboratory have made and will continue to make substantial contributions to clinical practice and the surgical management of patients with pathological spinal conditions that require surgical intervention.

CME Updates