A photo of Peter Sturm.

Director, Crawford Spine Center

Alvin H. Crawford Chair of Spine Surgery

Professor, UC Department of Orthopedic Surgery



Board Certified

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"I enjoy the challenge of helping children with complex medical conditions, and I believe in treating each patient and family with dignity and respect."

My Biography & Research


My career path began after undergoing surgery myself as a child and seeing how much my surgeon helped me and other children. Now, as an orthopaedic surgeon, I specialize in spinal deformities in pediatric patients with a special interest in early-onset scoliosis. I enjoy the challenge of helping children with complex medical conditions, and I believe in treating each patient and family with dignity and respect.

During medical school and residency, scoliosis surgery fascinated me. After practicing for more than 30 years, I have seen the treatment of children with spinal deformity evolve to where it is today. I think we are entering a new and exciting phase in the understanding and treatment of these challenging conditions.

In my research, my colleagues and I are trying to find new and innovative ways to treat early-onset scoliosis. Our team has received Top Poster Awards at many professional conferences for our work in finding better material for implantable growing rods used to brace the spine.

When I have free time, I enjoy hiking and time in the mountains.

Clinical Interests

Spine deformity, scoliosis, early onset scoliosis and pediatric orthopaedics

Research Interests

 Research interests in spinal deformity and early onset scoliosis.


Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Clinical Divisions

Orthopaedic Surgery, Colorectal Disorders, Neuromuscular Disorders, Spine, Chest Wall, Hemangioma and Vascular Malformations

Research Divisions


My Locations

My Education

MD: New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, 1981.

Residency: Orthopaedic Surgery Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, 1986.

Fellowship: Russ Spinal Surgery, Ottawa Civic Hospital Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1987; Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, The Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA, 1988.

Certification: Orthopaedic Surgery, 1990, 1999, 2010.

MBA: Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2014.

My Publications

MRI utilization and rates of abnormal pretreatment MRI findings in early-onset scoliosis: review of a global cohort. Williams, BA; McClung, A; Blakemore, LC; Shah, SA; Pawelek, JB; Sponseller, PD; Parent, S; Emans, JB; Sturm, PF; Yaszay, B; et al. Spine Deformity. 2020; 8:1099-1107.

Awake serial body casting for the management of infantile idiopathic scoliosis: is general anesthesia necessary?. LaValva, SM; MacAlpine, EM; Kawakami, N; Gandhi, JS; Morishita, K; Sturm, PF; Garg, S; Glotzbecker, MP; Anari, JB; Flynn, JM; et al. Spine Deformity. 2020; 8:1109-1115.

Lung microstructure in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis before and after posterior spinal fusion. Thomen, RP; Woods, JC; Sturm, PF; Jain, V; Walkup, LL; Higano, NS; Quirk, JD; Varisco, BM. PLoS ONE. 2020; 15:e0240265-e0240265.

Characterizing Use of Growth-friendly Implants for Early-onset Scoliosis: A 10-Year Update. Klyce, W; Mitchell, SL; Pawelek, J; Skaggs, DL; Sanders, JO; Shah, SA; McCarthy, RE; Luhmann, SJ; Sturm, PF; Flynn, JM; et al. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 2020; 40:e740-e746.

Proximal anchor fixation in magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGR): preliminary 2-year results of the impact of anchor location and density. Meza, BC; Shah, SA; Vitale, MG; Sturm, PF; Luhmann, SJ; Anari, JB. Spine Deformity. 2020; 8:793-800.

Establishing Consensus on the Best Practice Guidelines for Use of Halo Gravity Traction for Pediatric Spinal Deformity. Roye, BD; Campbell, ML; Matsumoto, H; Pahys, JM; Welborn, MC; Sawyer, J; Fletcher, ND; McIntosh, AL; Sturm, PF; Gomez, JA; et al. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 2020; 40:e42-e48.

Periapical-dropout Screws Strategy For 3-Dimensional Correction of Lenke 1 Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis in Patients Treated by Posterior Spinal Fusion. Lertudomphonwanit, T; Jain, VV; Sturm, PF; Patel, S. Clinical Spine Surgery. 2019; 32:E359-E365.

Outcomes of Primary and Conversion Magnetically Controlled Growth Rods Are Different at Two-Year Follow-up: Results of North American Release. Hung, CW; Vitale, MG; Samdani, A; Matsumoto, H; Smith, JT; Sturm, PF; Sponseller, PD; Luhmann, SJ; St. Hilaire, T; El-Hawary, R; et al. Spine Deformity. 2019; 7:829-835.

Early Onset Scoliosis: Is there an Improvement in Quality of Life with Conversion from Traditional Growing Rods to Magnetically Controlled Growing Rods?. Bauer, JM; Yorgova, P; Neiss, G; Rogers, K; Sturm, PF; Sponseller, PD; Luhmann, S; Pawelek, JB; Shah, SA. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 2019; 39:E284-E288.

Effects of Spinal Fusion for Idiopathic Scoliosis on Lower Body Kinematics During Gait. Kruger, KM; Garman, CM R; Krzak, JJ; Graf, A; Hassani, S; Tarima, S; Sturm, PF; Hammerberg, KW; Gupta, P; Harris, GF. Spine Deformity. 2018; 6:441-447.