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

Does Implant Density Impact Three-Dimensional Deformity Correction in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis with Lenke 1 and 2 Curves Treated by Posterior Spinal Fusion without Ponte Osteotomies?. Lertudomphonwanit, T; Berry, CA; Jain, VV; Sturm, PF. Asian Spine Journal. 2021.

The role of traditional growing rods in the era of magnetically controlled growing rods for the treatment of early-onset scoliosis. Varley, ES; Pawelek, JB; Mundis, GM; Oetgen, ME; Sturm, PF; Akbarnia, BA; Abdullah, AS A; Akbarnia, B; Anari, J; Anderson, J; et al. Spine Deformity. 2021.

A report of two conservative approaches to early onset scoliosis: serial casting and bracing. Li, Y; Swallow, J; Gagnier, J; Thompson, GH; Sturm, PF; Emans, JB; Sponseller, PD; Glotzbecker, MP. Spine Deformity. 2021; 9:595-602.

Contouring the magnetically controlled growing rods: impact on expansion capacity and proximal junctional kyphosis. Pasha, S; Sturm, PF. European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology. 2021; 31:79-84.

Case of an Adolescent Male with Back Pain and Poor Posture: Scheuermann’s Kyphosis. Ihnow, SB; Sturm, PF. Back Pain in the Young Child and Adolescent. 2021.

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.

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.

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.