Nicholas Theodore, MD

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Nicholas Theodore, MD


Nicholas Theodore, MD
Director, Neurotrauma
Director, Neurosurgery Spine Program
Associate Director, Neurosurgery Residency Program

Dr. Theodore graduated from Cornell University, where he was the recipient of a Cornell Tradition Academic Fellowship. He attended medical school at Georgetown University, where he graduated with honors. After completing his internship at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Dr. Theodore served as a Senior General Medical Officer with the United States Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan.

Dr. Theodore completed his neurosurgical residency and a fellowship in spinal surgery at Barrow Neurological Institute. After completing his residency in 2001, Dr. Theodore served as Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at Naval Medical Center San Diego, overseeing the largest neurosurgery complement in the Navy.

In 2003, he joined the faculty at Barrow Neurological Institute and was selected to lead our neurotrauma program. In 2004 he was appointed Associate Director of the Neurosurgery Residency Program at Barrow. Barrow’s Residency Program is the largest in the United States and is currently training four residents per academic year, for a potential total of 28 residents. His area of focus includes brain and spinal cord injury, minimally invasive surgery, and robotics.

Dr. Theodore is a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is the author of numerous scientific publications and the recipient of many research awards, including a prestigious RO-1 grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health.



Education, Training, and Previous Positions

  • 2013-present: Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant, National Football League
  • 2010-present: Director, Spinal Neurosurgery Program, Barrow Neurological Institute
  • 2010-present: Team Neurosurgeon, Arizona Coyotes
  • 2009-present: Team Neurosurgeon, Arizona Cardinals
  • 2003-present: Director, Neurotrauma Program, Barrow Neurological Institute
  • 2001-2003: Chief, Division of Neurological Surgery, Naval Medical Center, San Diego
  • 1999-2000: Fellowship, Barrow Neurological Institute, Spinal Neurosurgery
  • 1997-2001: Residency, Barrow Neurological Institute, Neurosurgery
  • 1996-1997: Senior Registrar, Department of Neurosurgery, Frenchay Healthcare Trust, Bristol, England
  • 1995-1996: Research Fellow, Barrow Neurological Institute, Spinal Neurosurgery
  • 1995: Medical Staff Fellow, Surgical Neurology Branch, National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 1993-1997: Residency, National Naval Medical Center, Neurological Surgery
  • 1992-1993: Senior General Medical Officer, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific Command, Okinawa, Japan
  • 1992: Internship, National Naval Medical Center, General Surgery
  • 1991: MD, Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • 1987: MS, Georgetown University, Physiology and Biophysics
  • 1985: BA, Cornell University, Government  


Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

  • American Academy of Neurological Surgery
  • Society of University Neurosurgeons
  • The Society of Neurological Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • Queen Square Alumnus Association
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • Association of Military Surgeons of the United States
  • AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves


Selected Honors and Awards

  • 2013, 2007: Timothy Harrington Neurological Surgery Teacher of the Year, Barrow Neurological Institute
  • 2011-present: Compassionate Doctor Award,
  • 2005: Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Naval Medical Center San Diego
  • 2000: Resident Research Award, Rocky Mountain Neurosurgical Society
  • 1999: Research Grant Award, North American Spine Society
  • 1999: Mayfield Clinical Research Award, Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves of the AANS/CNS
  • 1998: Research Grant Award, North American Spine Society
  • 1998: Ronald Tasker Award, Pain Section, Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • 1998: Outstanding Paper Award, North American Spine Society
  • 1994: Neil Holland Award, National Naval Medical Center
  • 1993: Navy Achievement Medal, Fleet Marine Force, Okinawa, Japan
  • 1991: Alpha Omega Alpha, Georgetown University
  • 1983-1984: Cornell Tradition Academic Fellow, Cornell University


Selected Publications

  1. Oppenlander ME, Clark JC, Sonntag VKH, Theodore N. Pediatric craniovertebral junction trauma. Adv Tech Stand Neurosurg, 2014 40:333-53.

  2. Oppenlander ME, Kalyvas J, Sonntag VK, Theodore N. Technical advances in pediatric craniovertebral junction surgery. Adv Tech Stand Neurosurg, 2014;40:201-13.

  3. Wait SD, Kalani MY Little AS, Consiglieri GD, Ross JS, Kucia MR, Sonntag VK, Theodore N. Prospective observational study of acute postlumbar laminectomy MRI. J Neurosurg Spine 2014;20(1):41-4.

  4. Colle KO, Butler JB, Reyes PM, Newcomb AG, Theodore N, Crawford NR. Biomechanical evaluation of a metal-on-metal cervical intervertebral disc prosthesis. Spine J. 2013;13(11):1640-9.

  5. Almefty KK, Turner JD, Theodore N. From narcotics to antibiotics: Evolving concepts in the treatment oflower back pain. World Neurosurg. 2013;80(5):442-443.

  6. Kalb S, Mahan MA, Elhadi AM, Dru A, Eales J, Lemos M, Theodore N. Pharmacophysiology of bone and spinal fusion. Spine J. 2013;13(10):1359-69.

  7. Walters BC, Hadley MN, Hurlbert RJ, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Harrigan MR, Rozelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N. Guidelines for the management of acute cervical spine and spinal cord injuries: 2013 update. Neurosurgery. 2013;60 (Suppl 1:82-91.

  8. Maughan PH, Ducruet AF, Elhadi AM, Martirosyan NL, Garrett M, Mushtaq R, Albuquerque FC, Theodore N. Multimodality management of vertebral artery injury sustained during cervical or craniocervical surgery. Neurosurgery. 2013;73(2 Suppl Operative):271-2.

  9. Dhall SS, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Gelb DE, Hurlbet RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC. Nutritional support after spinal cord injury. Neurosurgery. 2013;72(Suppl 2):255-9.

  10. Dhall SS, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Gelb DE, Hurlbet RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC. Deep venous thrombosis and thromboembolism in patients with cervical spinal cord injuries. Neurosurgery. 2013;72(Suppl 2):244-54.
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