Dr. Chopko attended the Northeast Ohio Medical University, where he obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. A graduate student under Theodore Voneida, his dissertation focus was on mammalian central nervous system transplantation. He then entered into the neurological surgery residency at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. While at UCSD, he completed a fellowship in interventional neuroradiology under the guidance Charles Kerber. Upon completing his training, he entered into private practice in Mansfield, Ohio from 2000-2013. During that time, he held a faculty appointment in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. Drawing upon years of experience in the medical device arena, in 2009 he co-founded Silver Bullet Therapeutics, a company dedicated to the prevention and treatment of deep-seated bone infections through the use of novel anti-infective bone fixation devices. In the summer of 2013, he joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford, and practices clinical neurosurgery at the Stanford Clinic in Henderson Nevada.
- Neurological Surgery
Education & Certifications
Board Certification: Neurological Surgery, American Board of Neurological Surgery (2005)
Residency:University of California San Diego (2000) CA
Fellowship:University of California San Diego (1999) CA
Internship:University of California San Diego (1994) CA
Medical Education:Northeastern Ohio Universities (1993) OH
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Dr. Chopko's current interests include the treatment of degenerative lumbar disease and local-regional therapies for neoplasms and deep-seated infections. With regard to lumbar stenosis, he is involved in investigating the effects of percutaneously remodeling, dis-inserting and partially resecting the hypertrophic ligamentum flavum, which is a commonly seen component in many instances of lumbar spinal stenosis. He is also studying the role of intra-arterial chemotherapy in spinal cancer.
Percutaneous thoracolumbar decompression combined with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation and fusion: a method for treating spinal degenerative pain in a biplane angiography suite with the avoidance of general anesthesia.
Journal of spine surgery (Hong Kong)
2016; 2 (2): 122-127
Spondylytic degeneration of the axial lumbar spine is a major cause of pain and disability. Recent advances in spinal surgical instrumentation, including percutaneous access and fusion techniques, have made possible the performance of instrumented fusion through small incisions. By blending strategies of interventional pain management, neuroradiology, and conventional spine surgery, it is now feasible to treat spinal axial pain using permanent fixation techniques and local anesthesia in the setting of a fluoroscopy suite using mild sedation and local anesthesia.The author presents a series of percutaneous thoracolumbar fusion procedures performed in a biplane neuroangiographic suite and without general anesthesia for the treatment of spondylytic pain. All procedures utilized pedicle screw fixation, harvesting of local bone autograft, and application of bone fusion material.In this series of 13 patients, a statistically significant reduction of pain was seen at both the 2-week post-operative timepoint, as well as at the time of longest follow-up (mean 40 weeks).The advanced and rapid imaging capabilities afforded by a neuroangiographic suite can be safely combined with percutaneous fusion techniques so as to allow for fusion therapies to be applied to patients where the avoidance of general anesthesia is desirable.
View details for DOI 10.21037/jss.2016.06.03
View details for PubMedID 27683708
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: Therapeutic Options Review
2015; 15 (1): 68-81
Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) functionally impacts significant numbers of Americans per year. Current estimates place the number of Americans suffering from senescent lumbar spinal stenosis at 400,000. The prevalence of this disorder in patients ranging from 60 to 69 years of age is very high. Forty-seven percent of this age group have mild to moderate stenosis, and 19.7% have severe stenosis. As the baby boomer generation gets older, 10,000 individuals attain the age of 65 years every day in United States. LSS is becoming very common and will be a major healthcare issue as the population ages. Although LSS is not life threatening, it can cause substantial disability with limitations to performing daily activities, and thus, the associated negative impact on quality of life (QOL). This article reviews the pathophysiology and current treatment options for LSS, focusing on evidence-based treatment options.
View details for DOI 10.1111/papr.12188
View details for Web of Science ID 000347383100013
View details for PubMedID 24725422
- Anatomic Surgical Management of Chronic Low Back Pain NEUROMODULATION 2014; 17: 46-51
Endovascular treatment of vertebral column metastases using intra-arterial Cisplatin: pilot experience.
Case reports in medicine
2014; 2014: 915904-?
Background and Importance. Treatment of spinal column metastatic tumors is challenging, especially in the setting of progressive disease despite previous radiation and chemotherapy. Intra-arterial chemotherapy is an uncommonly used but established treatment for head and neck cancers, retinoblastoma, and glioblastoma. The author reports extension of the IAC concept to vertebral metastatic tumors. Clinical Presentation. Two patients with intractable spinal pain secondary to spinal metastatic involvement at T11-L1 segments were treated with intra-arterial injections of cisplatin, with simultaneous sodium thiosulfate chelation. The first patient, a 60-year old female with metastatic lung carcinoma underwent, three cycles of therapy over a 9-week period; the treated regions demonstrated bone remodeling and sclerosis. The second case was a 40-year old male with malignant pheochromocytoma, who underwent a single treatment and succumbed 5 weeks later from progressive widespread disease. Both patients reported significant pain relief and neither of them exhibited a decline in neurologic function. Conclusion. The intra-arterial delivery of cisplatin appeared to be well tolerated in the two cases. In the case with the longest survival, the treated vertebral segments became more sclerotic, consistent with biomechanical stabilization. Endovascular treatment of spinal metastases may hold promise, especially as newer categories of biologic agents become more widely available.
View details for DOI 10.1155/2014/915904
View details for PubMedID 24963303