Keck School Faculty

Zorica Buser, PhD
Zorica Buser, PhD
Assistant Professor of Research Orthopaedic Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery
1450 San Pablo St ,#5400A -HC4 Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
The Spine laboratory studies the biology and mechanisms of various spine pathologies using basic science models and clinical research. Our projects cover in vitro and in vivo research on vertebral fusion, bone formation, and intervertebral discs. Our clinical studies utilize a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the causation of degenerative spinal conditions and their current treatments, including outcomes and cost. We are also investigating new diagnostic and treatment approaches in tissue engineering, biomarkers and mechanobiology, and the potential of progenitor and stem cells to drive disc regeneration. On the cellular level we are interested in the changes within mitochondria, the cell’s power plants, during disc degeneration.

The most appropriate cervical vertebra for the measurement of occipitocervical inclination parameter: a validation study of C3, C4, and C5 levels using multi-positional magnetic resonance imaging Eur Spine J. 2019 Oct; 28(10):2325-2332. . View in PubMed

Answer to the Letter to the Editor of TImamura concerning "The incidence of myocardial infarction after lumbar spine surgery" by Harwin B, Formanek B, Spoonamore M, Robertson D, Buser Z, Wang JC (Eur Spine J. 2019; doi:10. 1007/s00586-019-06072-4). Eur Spine J. 2019 Oct; 28(10):2430. . View in PubMed

The DOWN Questionnaire: A Novel Screening Tool for Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy Global Spine J. 2019 Sep; 9(6):607-612. . View in PubMed

The incidence of myocardial infarction after lumbar spine surgery Eur Spine J. 2019 Sep; 28(9):2070-2076. . View in PubMed

Perioperative complications of inpatient and outpatient single-level posterior cervical foraminotomy: a comparative retrospective study Spine J. 2019 Aug 20. . View in PubMed

Performance properties of health-related measurement instruments in whiplash: systematic review protocol Syst Rev. 2019 Aug 09; 8(1):199. . View in PubMed

Thoracic spine disc degeneration, translation, and angular motion: An analysis using thoracic spine kinematic MRI (kMRI) J Clin Neurosci. 2019 Aug; 66:113-120. . View in PubMed

Trends and Complications in Open Versus Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release in Private Payer and Medicare Patient Populations Hand (N Y). 2019 Jul; 14(4):455-461. . View in PubMed

Bone morphogenetic protein-2 promotes osteosarcoma growth by promoting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) through the Wnt/ß-catenin signaling pathway J Orthop Res. 2019 Jul; 37(7):1638-1648. . View in PubMed

Risk Factors for Postoperative Venous Thromboembolic Events in Patients Undergoing Lumbar Spine Surgery Global Spine J. 2019 Jun; 9(4):409-416. . View in PubMed

Global Spine J. 2019 Jun; 9(4):388-392. . View in PubMed

Effect of Mental Health Conditions on Complications, Revision Rates, and Readmission Rates Following Femoral Shaft, Tibial Shaft, and Pilon Fracture J Orthop Trauma. 2019 Jun; 33(6):e210-e214. . View in PubMed

Kinematic characteristics of patients with cervical imbalance: a weight-bearing dynamic MRI study Eur Spine J. 2019 May; 28(5):1200-1208. . View in PubMed

Cell Therapy for Treatment of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: A Systematic Review Global Spine J. 2019 May; 9(1 Suppl):39S-52S. . View in PubMed

Allogenic Stem Cells in Spinal Fusion: A Systematic Review Global Spine J. 2019 May; 9(1 Suppl):22S-38S. . View in PubMed

Chemoprophylaxis for the Hip Fracture Patient: A Comparison of Warfarin and Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin J Orthop Trauma. 2019 May; 33(5):216-219. . View in PubMed

The Impact of Cervical Spinal Muscle Degeneration on Cervical Sagittal Balance and Spinal Degenerative Disorders Clin Spine Surg. 2019 May; 32(4):E206-E213. . View in PubMed

Reliability and Validity of the AOSpine Thoracolumbar Injury Classification System: A Systematic Review Global Spine J. 2019 Apr; 9(2):231-242. . View in PubMed

Postoperative complications in adult spinal deformity patients with a mental illness undergoing reconstructive thoracic or thoracolumbar spine surgery Spine J. 2019 Apr; 19(4):662-669. . View in PubMed

Kinematic evaluation of thoracic spinal cord sagittal diameter and the space available for cord using weight-bearing kinematic magnetic resonance imaging Spinal Cord. 2019 Apr; 57(4):276-281. . View in PubMed

Perioperative Invasive Vascular Catheterization Associated With Increased Risk of Postoperative Infection in Lumbar Spine Surgery: An Analysis of 114,259 Patient Records Clin Spine Surg. 2019 Apr; 32(3):E145-E152. . View in PubMed

Depression Increases the Rates of Neurological Complications and Failed Back Surgery Syndrome in Patients Undergoing Lumbar Spine Surgery Clin Spine Surg. 2019 Mar; 32(2):E78-E85. . View in PubMed

Outpatient Total Hip Arthroplasty in the United States: A Population-based Comparative Analysis of Complication Rates J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2019 Jan 15; 27(2):61-67. . View in PubMed

The future of disc surgery and regeneration Int Orthop. 2019 04; 43(4):995-1002. . View in PubMed

Evaluation of foraminal cross-sectional area in lumbar spondylolisthesis using kinematic MRI Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2019 Jan; 29(1):17-23. . View in PubMed

Incidence of Respiratory Complications Following Lumbar Spine Surgery Int J Spine Surg. 2018 Dec; 12(6):718-724. . View in PubMed

Trends and Costs of External Electrical Bone Stimulators and Grafting Materials in Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Asian Spine J. 2018 Dec; 12(6):973-980. . View in PubMed

Preoperative Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated With Higher Postoperative Complication Rates in Total Knee Arthroplasty Orthopedics. 2018 Jul 01; 41(4):e489-e495. . View in PubMed

Allograft Versus Demineralized Bone Matrix in Instrumented and Noninstrumented Lumbar Fusion: A Systematic Review Global Spine J. 2018 Jun; 8(4):396-412. . View in PubMed

Demographic Trends in the Use of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring for Scoliosis Surgery in the United States Int J Spine Surg. 2018 Jun; 12(3):393-398. . View in PubMed

Relative Complications and Trends of Outpatient Total Shoulder Arthroplasty Orthopedics. 2018 May 01; 41(3):e400-e409. . View in PubMed

Clinical Relationship of Degenerative Changes between the Cervical and Lumbar Spine Asian Spine J. 2018 Apr; 12(2):343-348. . View in PubMed

Trends Analysis of rhBMP2 Utilization in Single-Level Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion in the United States Global Spine J. 2018 Apr; 8(2):137-141. . View in PubMed

Postoperative Complications Associated With rhBMP2 Use in Posterior/Posterolateral Lumbar Fusion Global Spine J. 2018 Apr; 8(2):142-148. . View in PubMed

Spine Degenerative Conditions and Their Treatments: National Trends in the United States of America Global Spine J. 2018 Feb; 8(1):57-67. . View in PubMed

Small C7-T1 lordotic angle and muscle degeneration at C7 level were independent radiological characteristics of patients with cervical imbalance: a propensity score-matched analysis Spine J. 2018 09; 18(9):1505-1512. . View in PubMed

Kinematic analysis of the space available for cord and disc bulging of the thoracic spine using kinematic magnetic resonance imaging (kMRI) Spine J. 2018 07; 18(7):1122-1127. . View in PubMed

Ambulatory anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is associated with a higher risk of revision surgery and perioperative complications: an analysis of a large nationwide database Spine J. 2018 07; 18(7):1180-1187. . View in PubMed

Characteristics of Cervical Spine Motion in Different Types of Cervical Alignment: Kinematic MRI Study Clin Spine Surg. 2018 05; 31(4):E239-E244. . View in PubMed

Eur Spine J. 2018 05; 27(5):1021-1027. . View in PubMed

MRI kinematic analysis of T1 sagittal motion between cervical flexion and extension positions in 145 patients Eur Spine J. 2018 05; 27(5):1034-1041. . View in PubMed

The evaluation of lumbar paraspinal muscle quantity and quality using the Goutallier classification and lumbar indentation value Eur Spine J. 2018 05; 27(5):1005-1012. . View in PubMed

Do modic changes, disc degeneration, translation and angular motion affect facet osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine Eur J Radiol. 2018 Jan; 98:193-199. . View in PubMed

Trends and Costs of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: a Comparison of Inpatient And Outpatient Procedures Iowa Orthop J. 2018; 38:167-176. . View in PubMed

The primary diagnosis and the coexisting anxiety disorders have no impact on the additional surgical procedure after spinal cord stimulators implantation: An analysis of 11,029 patients J Clin Neurosci. 2018 Jan; 47:208-213. . View in PubMed

Outpatient Total Knee Arthroplasty Is Associated with Higher Risk of Perioperative Complications J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2017 Dec 06; 99(23):1978-1986. . View in PubMed

Effect of mental health on post-operative infection rates following cervical spine fusion procedures J Orthop. 2017 Dec; 14(4):501-506. . View in PubMed

Complication Rates in Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) Surgery With Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2: Medicare Population Global Spine J. 2017 Dec; 7(8):770-773. . View in PubMed

Space Available for Cord, Motion, and disc degeneration at the adjacent segments level of degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis using kinematic MRI J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Nov; 45:89-99. . View in PubMed

Complications Related to the Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 Use in Posterior Cervical Fusion Clin Spine Surg. 2017 Nov; 30(9):E1269-E1273. . View in PubMed

Trends, Costs, and Complications of Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion With and Without Bone Morphogenetic Protein in the United States Medicare Population Global Spine J. 2017 Oct; 7(7):603-608. . View in PubMed

Trends Analysis of rhBMP Utilization in Single-Level Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion in the United States Global Spine J. 2017 Oct; 7(7):624-628. . View in PubMed

Trends analysis of surgical procedures for cervical degenerative disc disease and myelopathy in patients with tobacco use disorder Eur Spine J. 2017 Sep; 26(9):2386-2392. . View in PubMed

Analysis of the relationship between the facet fluid sign and lumbar spine motion of degenerative spondylolytic segment using Kinematic MRI Eur J Radiol. 2017 Sep; 94:6-12. . View in PubMed

Level of conus medullaris termination in adult population analyzed by kinetic magnetic resonance imaging Surg Radiol Anat. 2017 Jul; 39(7):759-765. . View in PubMed

Low-magnitude mechanical signals and the spine: A review of current and future applications J Clin Neurosci. 2017 Jun; 40:18-23. . View in PubMed

The Clinical Correlations between Diabetes, Cigarette Smoking and Obesity on Intervertebral Degenerative Disc Disease of the Lumbar Spine Asian Spine J. 2017 Jun; 11(3):337-347. . View in PubMed

Trends and Cost of Posterior Cervical Fusions With and Without Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 in the US Medicare Population Global Spine J. 2017 Jun; 7(4):334-342. . View in PubMed

Intraoperative Death During Cervical Spinal Surgery: A Retrospective Multicenter Study Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(1 Suppl):127S-131S. . View in PubMed

C5 Palsy After Cervical Spine Surgery: A Multicenter Retrospective Review of 59 Cases Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(1 Suppl):64S-70S. . View in PubMed

Risk and Cost of Reoperation After Single-Level Posterior Cervical Foraminotomy: A Large Database Study Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(2):116-122. . View in PubMed

A Retrospective Analysis of Complications Associated With Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 in Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(2):148-153. . View in PubMed

Epidural Hematoma Following Cervical Spine Surgery Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(1 Suppl):120S-126S. . View in PubMed

Rare Complications of Cervical Spine Surgery: Pseudomeningocoele Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(1 Suppl):109S-114S. . View in PubMed

Iatrogenic Spinal Cord Injury Resulting From Cervical Spine Surgery Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(1 Suppl):84S-90S. . View in PubMed

Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(1 Suppl):21S-27S. . View in PubMed

Esophageal Perforation Following Anterior Cervical Spine Surgery: Case Report and Review of the Literature Global Spine J. 2017 Apr; 7(1 Suppl):28S-36S. . View in PubMed

Effect of Oxy133, an osteogenic oxysterol, on new bone formation in rat two-level posterolateral fusion model Eur Spine J. 2017 11; 26(11):2763-2772. . View in PubMed

Kinematic evaluation of cervical sagittal balance and thoracic inlet alignment in degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis using kinematic magnetic resonance imaging Spine J. 2017 09; 17(9):1272-1284. . View in PubMed

Evaluation of changes in lumbar neuroforaminal dimensions in symptomatic young adults using positional MRI Eur Spine J. 2017 08; 26(8):1999-2006. . View in PubMed

A response to a commentary by DrDaniel J. Cher. Spine J. 2017 01; 17(1):159. . View in PubMed

Treatment for early postoperative esophageal fistula complicated with anterior cervical surgery J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2017 01; 25(1):2309499016684418. . View in PubMed

Demographic Trends in the Use of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring for Scoliosis Surgery in the United States Int J Spine Surg. 2017; 11:33. . View in PubMed

Analysis of Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 Use in the Treatment of Lumbar Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Global Spine J. 2016 Dec; 6(8):749-755. . View in PubMed

Synthetic bone graft versus autograft or allograft for spinal fusion: a systematic review J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Oct; 25(4):509-516. . View in PubMed

Trends of Posterior Long Segment Fusion with and without Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 in Patients with Scoliosis Global Spine J. 2016 Aug; 6(5):422-31. . View in PubMed

Stem cells and spinal fusion--are we there yet? Spine J. 2016 Mar; 16(3):400-1.. View in PubMed

Trends analysis of rhBMP utilization in single-level posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) in the United States Eur Spine J. 2016 Mar; 25(3):783-8. . View in PubMed

Effects of fusion and conservative treatment on disc degeneration and rates of subsequent surgery after thoracolumbar fracture J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Mar; 24(3):476-82. . View in PubMed

Postoperative complications in patients undergoing minimally invasive sacroiliac fusion Spine J. 2016 11; 16(11):1324-1332. . View in PubMed

Trends in vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty after thoracolumbar osteoporotic fracture: A large database study from 2005 to 2012 J Orthop. 2015 Dec; 12(Suppl 2):S217-22. . View in PubMed

Kinematic relationship between missed ligamentum flavum bulge and degenerative factors in the cervical spine Spine J. 2015 Oct 01; 15(10):2216-21. . View in PubMed

Erratum to: Trends analysis of rhBMP utilization in single-level posterior lumbar fusion (PLF) in the United States Eur Spine J. 2015 Sep; 24(9):2099. . View in PubMed

Inflammatory response of intervertebral disc cells is reduced by fibrin sealant scaffold in vitro J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2014 Jan; 8(1):77-84. . View in PubMed

Structured coculture of stem cells and disc cells prevent disc degeneration in a rat model Spine J. 2010 Dec; 10(12):1089-97. . View in PubMed

Routine Use of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring During ACDFs for the Treatment of Spondylotic Myelopathy and Radiculopathy Is Questionable: A Review of 15,395 Cases Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Jan 01; 42(1):14-19. . View in PubMed

Perioperative Catheter Use as a Risk Factor for Surgical Site Infection After Cervical Surgery: An Analysis of 39,893 Patients Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2019 Feb 01; 44(3):E157-E161. . View in PubMed

Outpatient Posterior Lumbar Fusion: A Population-Based Analysis of Trends and Complication Rates Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2018 Nov 15; 43(22):1559-1565. . View in PubMed

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2018 04 01; 43(7):520-525. . View in PubMed

Biological and biomechanical effects of fibrin injection into porcine intervertebral discs Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Aug 15; 36(18):E1201-9. . View in PubMed

Influence of T1 Slope on the Cervical Sagittal Balance in Degenerative Cervical Spine: An Analysis Using Kinematic MRI Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2016 Feb; 41(3):185-90. . View in PubMed

Reoperation Rates After Single-level Lumbar Discectomy Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Apr 15; 42(8):E496-E501. . View in PubMed

Distribution of Schmorl nodes in the lumbar spine and their relationship with lumbar disk degeneration and range of motion Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2015 Jan 01; 40(1):E49-53. . View in PubMed

Mechanical stimulation alters pleiotrophin and aggrecan expression by human intervertebral disc cells and influences their capacity to stimulate endothelial migration Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Apr 01; 34(7):663-9. . View in PubMed

Utility of Intraoperative Neuromonitoring for Lumbar Pedicle Screw Placement Is Questionable: A Review of 9957 Cases Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Jul 01; 42(13):1006-1010. . View in PubMed

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2019 02 15; 44(4):240-245. . View in PubMed

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