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Paul David Sponseller, M.D.

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


Achondroplasia, Blount's Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Fractures, Hip Dislocations, Hip Dysplasia, Kyphosis, Leg Length Inequality, Marfan Syndrome, Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedics, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Osteomyelitis, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatric Orthopaedics, Pediatric Spinal Deformity, Scoliosis, Skeletal Dysplasias, Spina Bifida, Spinal Fixation, Spinal Fusion, Spine and Spinal Deformities, Spondylolisthesis, Spondylosis more

Research Interests

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

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Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center

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


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. More recently, he earned both an M.S. degree in business of medicine and an M.B.A. at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Sponseller joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1986.

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

Dr. Sponseller is the research committee chair for the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, the deputy editor for pediatrics for The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and a member of the board of directors for the Scoliosis Research Society. 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.

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 Yamaguchi Award for Best Paper in Pediatrics by the American Urological Association, as well as 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 100 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 Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Professor of Urology

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.

His research goals are to: (1) define the natural history of skeletal features of Marfan syndrome; (2) understand the basic science of the Marfan skeletal phenotype; (3) improve skeletal treatment in osteogenesis imperfecta; (4) advance the treatment of pediatric spinal deformity; and (5) improve the care of pediatric skeletal trauma.

Clinical Trial Keywords

Growing Spinal Deformity

Selected Publications

Goh BC, Jain A, Sponseller PD. Delayed, Reversible Cervical Paralysis After Scoliosis Corrective Surgery in a Child with Osteogenesis Imperfecta: A Case Report. JBJS Case Connect. 2018 Jan-Mar;8(1):e16. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.17.00185. PMID: 29538094

Abousamra O, Sullivan BT, Samdani AF, Yaszay B, Cahill PJ, Newton PO, Sponseller PD. Three Methods of Pelvic Fixation for Scoliosis in Children with Cerebral Palsy: Differences at 5-Year Follow-Up. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2018 Jun 22. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002761. PMID: 29939974

Hadad MJ, Sullivan BT, Sponseller PD. Surgically Relevant Patterns in Triplane Fractures: A Mapping Study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2018 Jun 20;100(12):1039-1046. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.17.01279. PMID: 29916931

Kirby DJ, Dietz HC, Sponseller PD. Spondylolisthesis is Common, Early, and Severe in Loeys-Dietz Syndrome. J Pediatr Orthop. 2018 Jun 8. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000001203. PMID: 29889773

Helenius IJ, Oksanen HM, McClung A, Pawelek JB, Yazici M, Sponseller PD, Emans JB, Sánchez Pérez-Grueso FJ, Thompson GH, Johnston C, Shah SA, Akbarnia BA. Outcomes of growing rod surgery for severe compared with moderate early-onset scoliosis. Bone Joint J. 2018 Jun 1;100-B(6):772-779. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.100B6.BJJ-2017-1490.R1. PMID: 29855249

Activities & Honors


  • Baltimore Magazine Top Doctor, 2017
  • 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
  • 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
  • National Marfan Foundation
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation
  • Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
  • Scoliosis Research Society
  • Setting Scoliosis Straight Foundation / Harms Study Group

Professional Activities

  • Board of Directors, 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, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America
  • Presidential Line, Scoliosis Research Society

Videos & Media

Play Video:

Skeletal Reconstruction | Owen's Story

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

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)

When the Scoliosis Patient has FOP | Johns Hopkins Medicine (December 2015)

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