Nicholas Theodore, M.D., M.S.

Headshot of Nicholas Theodore
  • Director, Neurosurgical Spine Center
  • Professor of Neurosurgery

Languages: English, Greek


Back Disorders, Back Injuries, Back Pain, Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease, Cervical Degenerative Disc Herniation, Cervical Myelopathy, Chiari Malformations, Complex Spinal Reconstructions, Congenital Spine Disorders, Degenerative Disc Disease, Degenerative Spine Disease, Neurosurgery, Spinal Cord Tumors, Spinal Deformities, Spinal Trauma more

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Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

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Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-4424
601 N. Caroline St.
5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21287
Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center (now called Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center) - Google Maps

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Appointment Phone: 410-955-4424
4940 Eastern Avenue
301 Building, Suite 2100
Baltimore, MD 21224
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center - Google Maps


Nicholas Theodore, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgical Spine Center, is a nationally recognized expert in brain and spinal cord injury, minimally invasive spine surgeries and robotics. He earned a medical degree at  Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed both a residency in neurosurgery and a fellowship in spinal surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute.

As an award-winning teacher and researcher, Dr. Theodore has written or co-authored 30 book chapters, over 180 peer-reviewed journal articles and is co-holder of 10 patents for medical devices and procedures. His research focuses on trauma, spinal cord injuries, robotics and developing an understanding of the genetic and molecular basis of spinal diseases.

Dr. Theodore treats patients with a variety of spinal disorders including, trauma, Chiari malformations, spinal deformities, degenerative spine conditions and spinal cord tumors. He sees patients at both the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center and the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. more


  • Director, Neurosurgical Spine Center
  • Donlin M. Long Professor
  • Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Professor of Pediatrics

Departments / Divisions



  • MD; Georgetown University School of Medicine (1991)


  • Neurological Surgery; St Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center (2001)
  • Neurosurgery; Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (1997)


  • Neurological Disorders; National Institutes of Health (1995)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Neurological Surgery (Neurological Surgery) (2004)

Research & Publications

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Soriano-Baron H, Newcomb AG, Malhotra D, de Tranaltes K, Martinez-del-Campo E, Reyes PM, Crawford NR, Theodore N, Tumialán LM: Biomechanics of nested transforaminal lumbar interbody cages. Neurosurgery. 2016;78(2):297-304.

Safavi-Abbasi S, Komune N, Archer JB, Sun H, Theodore N, James J, Little AS, Nakaji P, Sughrue ME, Rhoton AL, Spetzler RF: Surgical anatomy and utility of pedicled vascularized tissue flaps for multilayered repair of skull base defects. J Neurosurg. 2015 Nov 27:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]

Ropper AE, Neal MT, Theodore N: Acute management of traumatic cervical spinal cord injury. Pract Neurol. 2015;15(4):266-72.

Rodriguez-Martinez NG, Safavi-Abbasi S, Perez-Orribo L, Newcomb AG, Reyes PM, Loughran G, Theodore N, Crawford NR: Biomechanics of a flexible sublaminar connector in long-segment thoracic fixation. J Neurosurg Spine. 2015 Oct 13:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Rodriguez-Martinez NG, Perez-Orribo L, Kalb S, Reyes PM, Newcomb AG, Hughes J, Theodore N, Crawford NR: The role of obesity in the biomechanics and radiological changes of the spine: An in vitro study. J Neurosurg Spine. 2015 Dec 11:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Mortazavi MM, Verma K, Harmon OA, Griessenauer CJ, Adeeb N, Theodore N, Tubbs RS: The microanatomy of spinal cord injury: A review. Clin Anat. 2015;28(1):27-36.

Martirosyan NL, Kalani MY, Lemole GM Jr, Spetzler RF, Preul MC, Theodore N: Microsurgical anatomy of the arterial basket of the conus medullaris. J Neurosurg Spine. 2015;22(6):672-6.

Martirosyan NL, Kalani MY, Bichard WD, Baaj AA, Gonzalez FL, Preul MC, Theodore N: Cerebrospinal fluid drainage and induced hypertension improve spinal cord perfusion after spinal cord injury in pigs. Neurosurgery. 2015;76(4):467-8; discussion 468-9.

Martinez-del-Campo E, Kalb S, Soriano-Baron H, Turner JD, Neal MT, Uschold T, Theodore N: Computed tomography parameters for atlantooccipital dislocation in adult patients: The occipital condyle-C1 interval. J Neurosurg Spine. 2015 Dec 18:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]

Kelly BP, Theodore N: What can standard in vitro biomechanical testing tell us about adjacent segment disease? World Neurosurg. 2015 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]

Kalb S, Zaidi HA, Ribas-Nijkerk JC, Sindhwani MK, Clark JC, Martirosyan NL, Theodore N: Persistent outpatient hypertension is independently associated with spinal cord dysfunction and imaging characteristics of spinal cord damage among patients with cervical spondylosis. World Neurosurg. 2015;84(2):351-7.

Activities & Honors


  • Mayfield Basic Science Research Award, Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral, AANS/CNS
  • Timothy Harrington Neurological Surgery Teacher of the Year, Barrow Neurological Institute
  • Best Doctors in America, U.S. News & World Report
  • America's Top Doctors, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.
  • Compassionate Doctor Award,


  • AANS/CNS Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
  • AANS/CNS Joint Section on Neurotrauma
  • American Academy of Neurological Surgery
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Medical Association
  • Association of Military Surgeons of the United States
  • Society of Neurological Surgeons
  • Society of University Neurosurgeons

Videos & Media

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Backs to the Future, Hopkins Medicine Magazine (Winter 2021)

Developing Implantable and Wearable Technology to Treat Spinal Cord Injury, NeuroLogic (Winter 2021)

‘Grateful and Impressed’ In New Memoir, Actor Michael J. Fox Tells How Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery Team Removed Large Spinal Tumor to Avert Paralysis, Dome (12/19/20)

Cross-disciplinary Team Will Design, Develop Devices to Better Treat Spinal Cord Injuries, Hub (11/11/2020)

$13.48M Awarded to Johns Hopkins Scientists to Develop Implantable Ultrasound Devices for Patients with Spinal Cord Injury (10/12/20)

Whitecomb Conquers Boston Marathon Seven Months After Breaking His Neck, Runner's Gazette (07/04/2019)

Johns Hopkins Leader Magazine 2019

One Robot, Zero Radiation, Healing Twice as Fast, Global Promise: Johns Hopkins Medicine International Blog (06/25/2019)

Meet the Neurosurgeon Behind a Safer Super Bowl Johns Hopkins News and Publications (01/23/2019)

NFL names Johns Hopkins' Dr. Nicholas Theodore chairman of Head, Neck and Spine Committee, Baltimore Sun (04/19/2018)

Johns Hopkins image-guided robot performs 1st spinal screw insertion: 5 observations, Becker's Spine Review (1/17/2018)

Recorded Seminar: Back and Neck Pain: When Non-Surgical Treatment Doesn’t Work

VIDEO: Complex Spinal Reconstruction - Danica's Story

Johns Hopkins Surgeons Perform First Real-Time Image-Guided Spine Surgery, Imagining Technology News (10/20/2017)

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