Paul David Sponseller, M.D.

Headshot of Paul David Sponseller
  • Chief, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery


Cerebral Palsy, Fractures, Hip Dysplasia, Kyphosis, Marfan Syndrome, Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedics, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Pediatric Orthopaedics, Pediatric Spinal Deformity, Scoliosis, Skeletal Dysplasias, Spina Bifida, Spine and Spinal Deformities, Spondylolisthesis more

Research Interests

Marfan Syndrome; Pediatric Spinal Deformity; Bladder exstrophy; Pediatric skeletal trauma more

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

Appointment Phone: 443-997-2663
601 N. Caroline St.
5th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Fax: 410-502-3944

Johns Hopkins Medicine - Green Spring Station

Appointment Phone: 443-287-2660
10803 Falls Road
Pavilion III, Suite 2100
Lutherville, MD 21093 map


Dr. Paul Sponseller is a professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. His areas of clinical expertise include pediatric spine disorders, cerebral palsy, clubfeet, hip dislocations and hip dysplasia.

Dr. Sponseller serves as chief of the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Dr. Sponseller received his B.S. from the University of Michigan. He earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and performed a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sponseller joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1986.

More recently, he earned  and an M.B.A. at the Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Sponseller's research interests include Marfan syndrome, pediatric spinal deformities, pediatric skeletal trauma and bladder exstrophy.

Dr. Sponseller is the Deputy Editor for pediatrics for The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and Past President of Scoliosis Research Society. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North American (POSNA). He is a staff physician at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and a consulting physician at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. He is also a member of the Setting Scoliosis Straight/Harms Study Group and the Pediatric Spine Study Group.

Honored on several occasions for his excellence in teaching and research, Dr. Sponseller was named Outstanding Teacher by the Union Memorial Orthopaedic Program and was twice awarded Teacher of the Year in Orthopaedic Surgery by the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also received the Arthur H. Huene Memorial Award for career research by the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

Dr. Sponseller has traveled to Guyana, South America, on three occasions to volunteer as a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon for Project Dawn while simultaneously teaching medical students, fellows and residents. He has published more than 300 scientific papers and has written or contributed to numerous books, book chapters and articles. more


  • Chief, Division of Pediatric Orthopaedics
  • Sponseller Professor of Pediatric Orthopaedics
  • Professor of Urology
  • Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; University of Michigan Medical School (1980)


  • Orthopaedic Surgery; University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (1985)


  • Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery; Children's Hospital (1986)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (Orthopaedic Surgery) (1989)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Sponseller’s research is primarily clinical and focuses on genetic disorders, spinal deformity and trauma. His goal is to put clinical decision making on a scientific footing. His current projects include: outcomes of spinal deformity care in cerebral palsy, Loeys-Dietz syndrome and Marfan syndrome; understanding skeletal development and degeneration in a mouse model of Marfan syndrome; prevention of infection in spinal deformity; and improving pelvic fixation.

Clinical Trial Keywords

Growing Spinal Deformity

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Marrache M, Harris AB, Puvanesarajah V, Sponseller PD. Seasonal variation in the volume of posterior spinal arthrodesis procedures for pediatric scoliosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2020;45(18):1293-1298

Klyce W, Mitchell SL, Pawelek J, Skaggs DL, Sanders JO, Shah SA, McCarthy    RE, Luhmann SJ, Sturm PF, Flynn JM, Smith JT, Akbarnia BA, Sponseller PD. Characterizing use of growth-friendly implants for early-onset scoliosis: A 10-year update. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020; 40(8):e740-746.

Cottrill E, Klyce W, Pennington Z, Ehresman J, Di Carlo H, Gearhart JP, Sponseller PD. Role of the pubic symphysis in osseous pelvic development: a novel model of bladder exstrophy in rabbits. J Pediatr Orthop. 2021;41(2):e181-187

Bellaire LL, Zhang C, Smith JT, Heflin JA, Klatt J, Roye D, Sponseller PD, Samdani A, Fedorak GT:  Growth-Friendly Spinal Instrumentation in Marfan Syndrome Achieves Sustained Gains in Thoracic Height Amidst High Rates of Implant Failure.  J Pediatr Orthop  2020: 40: 

Hadad MJ, Xu AL, Bryant BR, Andrade NS, Hoon AHJ, Sponseller PD. Why the hips remain stable when the spine strays: a deeper analysis of the relationship between hip displacement and severe scoliosis in patients with cerebral palsy. J Pediatr Orthop. 2021;41(5):261-266.

Activities & Honors


  • Baltimore Magazine Top Doctor, 2009 - 2021
  • Clinical Teacher of the Year, James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2013
  • Top Docs, Baltimore Magazine, 2013
  • Best Paper, Fourth International Congress on Early-Onset Scoliosis, 2010
  • Hero with a Heart Award, National Marfan Foundation, 2006
  • Yamaguchi Award for Best Paper in Pediatrics, American Urological Association, 2005
  • Arthur H. Huene Memorial Award, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, 2005
  • Teacher of the Year, Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 2001
  • Antoine Marfan Award, National Marfan Foundation, 1998
  • Teacher of the Year (first year award given), Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 1993
  • Outstanding Teacher, Union Memorial Orthopaedic Program, 1992
  • Russell S. Hibbs Award for best clinical paper, Scoliosis Research Society, 1986
  • Russell S. Hibbs Award for best clinical paper, Scoliosis Research Society, 2021
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, University of Michigan, 1980
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Michigan, 1976


  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Association
  • International Rett Syndrome Association
  • Maryland Orthopaedic Association
  • Marfan Foundation
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation
  • Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
  • Scoliosis Research Society
  • Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation / Harms Study Group

Professional Activities

  • Past President, Scoliosis Research Society
  • Clinical Advisory Board, Cornelia deLange Syndrome Association
  • Deputy Editor for Pediatrics, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
  • Professional Advisory Board, National Marfan Foundation
  • Research Committee Chair, BOD,, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America

Videos & Media

Play Video:

Skeletal Reconstruction | Owen's Story

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Clinical Results and Functional Outcomes After Direct Intralaminar Screw Repair of Spondylolysis | Johns Hopkins Medicine (November 2022)

Transformative Technology At Hopkins Allows Boy With Scoliosis To Live Normal Life | CBS Baltimore (November 2017)

Cannulated Lag Screws Superior to Pins | Orthopedics This Week (January 2017)

5 Facts about Scoliosis Every Parent Should Know | Johns Hopkins Medicine (October 2015)

Getting Ahead of the Curve: A Fresh Take on Scoliosis | Physician Update (April 2014)

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