'Minimally invasive' option may not be best for back pain. Reader Marsha Gallavan asks whether there are any nonsurgical or other minimally invasive procedures to remedy her husband’s back problems. Dr. Charles Rosen, who founded the UCI Spine Center and the Association for Ethics in Spine Surgery, discusses the options. Read full story...

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Charles D. Rosen, M.D.
Clinical Professor
Founding Director, UCI Spine Center
President, Association for Medical Ethics

Call for an appointment (714) 534-0547
Dr. Rosen's CV

Clinical Specialty
Spinal surgery

Clinical Interests
Dr. Rosen specializes in spinal disorders having completed advanced fellowship training in spinal surgery and rehabilitation in 1989. Dr. Rosen has been in practice for 22 years and is an expert in the diagnosis of spinal problems. His specialty in spinal surgery is in patients with spinal degeneration, suffering from herniated discs, spinal stenosis, instability and all the other consequences of this in the neck and lumbar spine. He has developed a particular interest in treating patients with failed disc replacements who travel from different parts of the country for consultation. He enjoys taking his time and talking with patients.

He is also President of the Association for Medical Ethics (can be accessed at He founded this for the purpose of lessening the invasive influence of industry on doctors’ who are paid consultants for spinal companies, and to provide a forum for the presentation of spinal surgery research without company bias.

Research Interests
His research currently is developing a more accurate model of spinal biomechanics. This has arisen out of his nationally recognized expertise in evaluating the failure of artificial lumbar disc replacements, and in their treatment. After reviewing numerous failed disc replacements, he believes the current disc replacements being implanted all have an inherent flaw. This flaw is in the disc design being based on an erroneous model of spinal motion.

Dr. Rosen received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical doctorate degree from the University of California, San Diego. He completed his general surgery internship at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic Institute. He completed fellowship training in Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center.

He currently serves as Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine. He is board certified, and re-certified, by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, an active member of the North American Spine Society, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, President of the Association for Ethics in Spine Surgery.

Medical Degree
University of California, San Diego

Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic Institute

Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation, Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center

Board Certifications
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery