Deepak Chona, MD is a 5th year orthopedic surgery resident at Stanford with plans to graduate June '22 and begin a one-year sports medicine fellowship at Harvard-Boston Children's Hospital. His inspiration comes from the intersection of orthopedics, sports science, and technology. Therefore, his primary goal is to optimize injury prevention, athletic training, and return to sports by implementing a data-driven approach through widely accessible technology.

He obtained his MD from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania ('17) and BA from Vanderbilt University ('13). Post-fellowship he hopes to continue his career in Texas or California.

Clinical Focus

  • Residency

All Publications

  • Return to sport following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: the argument for a multimodal approach to optimise decision-making: current concepts. Journal of ISAKOS : joint disorders & orthopaedic sports medicine Chona, D., Eriksson, K., Young, S. W., Denti, M., Sancheti, P. K., Safran, M., Sherman, S. 2021


    Existing literature is varied in the methods used to make this determination in the treatment of athletes who have undergone recent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Some authors report using primarily time-based criteria, while others advocate for physical measures and kinematic testing to inform decision-making. The goal of this paper is to elucidate the most current medical evidence regarding identification of the earliest point at which a patient may safely return to sport. The present review therefore seeks to examine the evidence from a critical perspective-breaking down the biology of graft maturation, effect of graft choice, potential for image-guided monitoring of progression and results associated with time-based versus functional criteria-based return to play-to justify a multifactorial approach to effectively advance athletes to return to sport. The findings of the present study reaffirm that time is a prerequisite for the biological progression that must occur for a reconstructed ligament to withstand loads demanded by athletes during sport. Modifications of surgical techniques and graft selection may positively impact the rate of graft maturation, and evidence suggests that imaging studies may offer informative data to enhance monitoring of this process. Aspects of both functional and cognitive testing have also demonstrated utility in prior studies and consequently have been factored into modern proposed methods of determining the athlete's readiness for sport. Further work is needed to definitively determine the optimal method of clearing an athlete to return to sport after ACL reconstruction. Evidence to date strongly suggests a role of a multimodal algorithmic approach that factors in time, graft biology and functional testing in return-to-play decision-making after ACL reconstruction.Level of evidence: level V.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/jisakos-2020-000597

    View details for PubMedID 34088854

  • Definitions of Return to Sport After Hip Arthroscopy: Are We Speaking the Same Language and Are We Measuring the Right Outcome? Orthopaedic journal of sports medicine Chona, D. V., Bonano, J. C., Ayeni, O. R., Safran, M. R. 2020; 8 (9): 2325967120952990


    Return to sport is a commonly studied outcome of hip arthroscopy that is relevant to both patients and providers. There exists substantial variability in criteria used to define successful return to sport.To review and evaluate the definitions used in the literature so as to establish a single standard to enable comparison of outcomes in future studies.Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.The PubMed, MEDLINE, and Embase databases were searched from inception to June 1, 2019, for studies relating to hip arthroscopy and return to sport. Articles included were those that met the following criteria: (1) contained 2 or more patients, (2) studied patients 18 years of age and older, (3) reported postoperative outcomes after hip arthroscopy, (4) clearly defined return to play, and (5) were written in English. Excluded articles (1) reported outcomes for nonoperative or open treatments, (2) did not clearly define return to play, or (3) were review articles, meta-analyses, or survey-based studies. Return-to-play definitions and additional metrics of postoperative performance and outcome were recorded.A total of 185 articles were identified, and 28 articles were included in the final review, of which 18 involved elite athletes and 10 involved recreational athletes. Of articles studying elite athletes, 6 (33%) defined return to play as participation in regular or postseason competition, 3 (17%) extended the criteria to the preseason, and 2 (11%) used participation in sport-related activities and training. The remaining 7 (39%) reported rates of return to the preoperative level of competition but did not specify preseason versus regular season. All 10 articles evaluating recreational athletes defined return to play based on patient-reported outcomes. Four (40%) did so qualitatively, while 6 (60%) did so quantitatively.There exists significant variability in criteria used to define successful return to sport after hip arthroscopy, and these criteria differ among elite and recreational athletes. For elite athletes, return to the preoperative level of competition is most commonly used, but there exists no consensus on what type of competition-regular season, preseason, or training-is most appropriate. For recreational athletes, patient-reported data are most commonly employed, although there are clear differences between authors on the ways in which these are being used as well.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/2325967120952990

    View details for PubMedID 33015214

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7509720

  • Timing of Lumbar Spinal Fusion Affects Total Hip Arthroplasty Outcomes. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Global research & reviews Bala, A., Chona, D. V., Amanatullah, D. F., Hu, S. S., Wood, K. B., Alamin, T. F., Cheng, I. 2019; 3 (11): e00133


    Many patients are affected by concurrent disease of the hip and spine, undergoing both total hip arthroplasty (THA) and lumbar spinal fusion (LSF). Recent literature demonstrates increased prosthetic dislocation rates in patients with THA done after LSF. Evidence is lacking on which surgery to do first to minimize complications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of timing between the two procedures on postoperative outcomes.Methods: We queried the Medicare standard analytics files between 2005 and 2014. Four groups were identified and matched by age and sex: THA with previous LSF, LSF with previous THA, THA with spine pathology without fusion, and THA without spine pathology. Revision THA or LSF and bilateral THA were excluded. Comorbidities and Charlson Comorbidity Index were identified. Postoperative complications at 90 days and 2 years were calculated after the most recent surgery. Four-way chi-squared and standard descriptive statistics were calculated.Results: Thirteen thousand one hundred two patients had THA after LSF, 10,482 patients had LSF after THA, 104,820 had THA with spine pathology, and 492,654 had THA without spine pathology. There was no difference in the Charlson Comorbidity Index score between the THA after LSF and LSF after THA groups. There was a statistically significant difference in THA dislocation rate, with LSF after THA at 1.7%, THA without spine pathology at 2.3%, THA with spine pathology at 3.3%, and THA after LSF at 4.6%. There was a statistically significant difference in THA revision rate, with THA without spine pathology at 3.3%, LSF after THA at 3.7%, THA with spine pathology at 4.2%, and THA after LSF at 5.7%.Conclusion: LSF after THA is associated with a reduced dislocation rate compared with THA after LSF. Reasons may include decreasing pelvic mobility in a stable, well-healed THA or early postoperative spine precautions after LSF restricting positions of dislocation.

    View details for DOI 10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-19-00133

    View details for PubMedID 31875203

  • A predictive model for increased hospital length of stay following geriatric hip fracture. Journal of clinical orthopaedics and trauma Knoll, O. M., Lakomkin, N., Shen, M. S., Adebayo, M., Kothari, P., Dodd, A. C., Attum, B., Lee, N., Chona, D., Sethi, M. K. 2019; 10 (Suppl 1): S84–S87


    Background: The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors that are significantly associated with hospital length of stay (LOS) following geriatric hip fracture and to use these significant variables to develop a LOS calculator.Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study examining 614 patients treated for geriatric hip fracture between January 2000 and December 2009 at an urban, Level 1 trauma center. A negative binomial regression analysis was used to identify perioperative variables associated with hospital LOS.Results: 614 patients met the inclusion criteria, presenting with a mean age of 78 (±10) years. The most common pre-operative comorbidity was hypertension, followed by diabetes and COPD. After controlling for all collected comorbidities as well as demographics and operative variables, hypertension (IRR: 1.10, p = 0.029) and disseminated cancer (IRR: 1.24, p = 0.007) were found to be significantly associated with LOS. In addition, two demographic/presenting variables, admission to the medicine service (IRR: 1.48, p < 0.001) and male sex (IRR: 1.09, p = 0.034), were shown to be independent risk factors for prolonged LOS. These variables were synthesized into a LOS formula, which estimated LOS to within 3 days of the true length of stay for 0.758 of the series (95% confidence interval: 0.661 to 0.855).Conclusions: This study identified several comorbidity and perioperative variables that were significantly associated with LOS following geriatric hip fracture surgery. The resulting LOS model may have utility in the risk stratification of orthopaedic trauma patients presenting with hip fracture.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcot.2019.03.024

    View details for PubMedID 31695265

  • Financial Distress and Discussing the Cost of Total Joint Arthroplasty. The Journal of arthroplasty Amanatullah, D. F., Murasko, M. J., Chona, D. V., Crijns, T. J., Ring, D., Kamal, R. N. 2018


    BACKGROUND: Total joint arthroplasty is expensive. Out-of-pocket cost to patients undergoing elective total joint arthroplasty varies considerably depending on their insurance coverage but can range into the tens of thousands of dollars. The goal of this study is to evaluate the association between patient financial stress and interest in discussing costs associated with surgery.METHODS: One hundred forty-one patients undergoing elective total hip and knee arthroplasty at a suburban academic medical center were enrolled and completed questionnaires about cost prior to surgery. Questions regarding if and when doctors should discuss the cost of healthcare with patients, evaluating if patients were affected by the cost of healthcare and to what extent, and financial security scores to assess current financial situation were included. The primary outcome was the answer to the question of whether a doctor should discuss cost with patients.RESULTS: Financial stress was found to be associated with patient experience of hardship due to cost of care [P= .004], likelihood to turn down a test or treatment due to copayment [P= .029], to decline a test or treatment due to other costs [P= .003], to experience difficulty affording basic necessities [P= .008], and to have used up all or most of their savings to pay for surgery [P= .011]. In total, 84% of patients reported that they wanted to discuss surgical costs with their doctors, but 90% did not want to do so at every visit.CONCLUSION: Total joint arthroplasty creates considerable out-of-pocket costs that may affect patient decisions. These findings help elucidate important patient concerns that orthopedic surgeons should account for when discussing elective arthroplasty with patients.

    View details for PubMedID 30057266

  • Effect of Computer Navigation on Complication Rates Following Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty. The Journal of arthroplasty Chona, D., Bala, A., Huddleston, J. I., Goodman, S. B., Maloney, W. J., Amanatullah, D. F. 2018


    BACKGROUND: We evaluated whether the complication and revision rates of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) performed with intraoperative computer-based navigation differ from standard UKAs performed without intraoperative computer-based navigation.METHODS: A Medicare database containing administrative claims data from 2005 to 2014 was queried. Patients who underwent a single UKA and had a minimum of 2 years of follow-up were included in the study. Data from 1025 UKAs performed with navigation were compared against 9228 age and gender-matched UKAs performed without it. Postoperative complications were identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes and evaluated at 30 days, 90 days, and 2 years.RESULTS: Orthopedic complications after UKA are rare, and the use of navigation did not affect the rate of conversion to total knee arthroplasty at 2-year follow-up (3.8% in navigated UKAs vs 4.7% in standard UKAs, P= .218). There were also no significant differences in the rates of knee arthrotomy at 2-year follow-up (1.3% in navigated UKAs vs 1.6% in standard UKAs, P= .379). The rates of deep vein thrombosis at 90-day follow-up did not significantly differ between the 2 groups (1.4% in navigated UKAs vs 2.0% in standard UKAs, P= .157).CONCLUSION: This is one of the first studies to use a large cohort to compare outcomes in computer-assisted surgery-UKA against standard UKAs without navigation. The results, particularly that there was not a difference in the rate of conversion to total knee arthroplasty, are directly relevant to clinical decision-making when surgeons are considering employing navigation during UKA.

    View details for PubMedID 30033063