Frank Schwab, MD

Frank Schwab is Chief of Spine Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He was previously Chief of Spinal Deformity at New York University Langone Medical Center-Hospital for Joint Diseases. Dr. Schwab’s clinical practice focuses on complex spinal pathology, adult and pediatric spinal deformity and revision reconstruction procedures. He is widely recognized as a leader in the field and has pioneered many aspects of spinal deformity care, especially for patients with extensive surgical histories. Dr. Schwab is focused on innovating patient-specific operative treatment, optimizing sagittal realignment guidelines, emphasizing the use of pre-operative planning technologies and techniques for complex spine surgery. In concert with patient care, he developed the first definitive classification of adult spinal deformity that has become a clinical standard for spinal surgeons worldwide.

Dr. Schwab obtained his medical degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, which was followed by a National Science Foundation post-doctoral research fellowship in Paris, France. He continued as a resident in orthopaedic surgery at the New York Orthopaedic Hospital at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, which was followed by advanced spine fellowship training under the direction of Dr. Jean-Pierre Farcy. He joined NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases in 2006, where he also served as Clinical Professor at the NYU School of Medicine.

Dr. Schwab was a founder of Nemaris, Inc, which develops dedicated spine measurement and surgical planning software used by physicians and researchers across the globe. He is a Board Member of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), winning multiple awards for spine deformity research and serving on several key committees. Dr. Schwab is also a leader and Board Member of the International Spine Study Group (ISSG) and active within the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), and North American Spine Society (NASS). Over the course of his career, he has received multiple grants throughout his career, published more than 200 original and review articles, and has had more than 400 presentations at scientific conferences. He remains committed to education of students, researchers, residents, and fellow surgeons with an absolute focus on providing the very best care to patients.


Chief, Spine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery
Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College
Attending Orthopedic Surgeon, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital


Special Expertise

Frank Schwab’s clinical practice focuses on complex spinal pathology, pediatric and adult spinal deformity and revision reconstruction procedures. Dr. Schwab is focused on innovating patient-specific operative treatment, optimizing sagittal realignment guidelines, emphasizing the use of pre-operative planning technologies and techniques for complex spine surgery.


Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Adult Scoliosis
Congenital Scoliosis
Failed Back Surgery
Revision Spine Surgery
Spinal Deformity
Spinal Stenosis
Spine Tumors


SRS Russell A. Hibbs Clinical Award, Best Clinical Presentation at the Scoliosis Research Society Annual Meeting, 2009 and 2013
Frauenthal Honouree, NYU Langone Medical Center, USA, 2013
Goldstein Clinical Science Award, Best Clinical Poster winner at SRS annual meeting, 2014


Board Member of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) - serving on several key committees
Board of Directors of the International Spine Study Group (ISSG)
Member of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)
Member of North American Spine Society (NASS)


French and German

Insurances Accepted

Medicare (Status: Non-Par using Medicare Limited Fee Schedule)

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MD, Columbia University College for Physicians, New York


Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York


Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York


Mamonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York


ABOS – American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1999

State Licensure

New York and California

Frank Schwab, MD has contributed to the following educational materials:

For Patients - on

Editorial Appointments

Bulletin of the Hospital for Joint Diseases
SPINE (associate editorial board)
Spine Deformity

Selected Publications

Schwab F, Blondel B, Chay E, Demakakos J, Lenke L, Tropiano P, Ames C, Smith JS, Shaffrey CI, Glassman S, Farcy JP, Lafage V. The comprehensive anatomical spinal osteotomy classification. Neurosurgery. 2014 Jan;74(1):112-20; discussion 120. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000182o. (2014)

Schwab FJ, Blondel B, Bess S, Hostin R, Shaffrey CI, Smith JS, Boachie-Adjei O, Burton DC, Akbarnia BA, Mundis GM, Ames CP, Kebaish K, Hart RA, Farcy JP, Lafage V, The International Spine Study Group. Radiographic Spino-pelvic Parameters and Disability in the Setting of Adult Spinal Deformity: A Prospective Multicenter Analysis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2013 Jun 1;38(13):E803-E812

Smith J, Lafage V, Schwab F, Shaffrey C, Protopsaltis T, Klineberg E, Gupta M, Scheer J, Fu K, Mundis G, Hostin R, Deviren V, Hart R, Burton D, Bess S, Ames C; International Spine Study Group. Prevalence and Type of Cervical Deformity Among 470 Adults With Throacolumbar Deformity. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2014 Aug 1;39(17):E1001-9. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000000432 (2014)

Bess S, Schwab F, Lafage V, Shaffrey CI, Ames CP. Classifications for adult spinal deformity and use of the scoliosis research society-schwab adult spinal deformity classification. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2013 Apr;24(2):185-93

Schwab FJ, Hawkinson N, Lafage V, Smith JS, Hart R, Mundis G, Burton DC, Line B, Akbarnia B, Boachie-Adjei O, Hostin R, Shaffrey CI, Arlet V, Wood K, Gupta M, Bess S, Mummaneni PV; International Spine Study Group. Risk factors for major perioperative complications in adult spinal deformity surgery: a multi-center review of 953 consecutive patients. Eur Spine J. May 17. [Epub ahead of print] (2012)

Selected Books/Chapters

Schwab, F., Petracchi, M., Farcy, J-P.: Considerations for reducing complications in spinal deformity surgery. In: Errico, Moulton, Lonner, ed. Essential Concepts of Spinal Deformity Surgery. Elsevier Science. In press 2007

Schwab, FJ & al: Roundtable Discussion pp13-90. In: Roundtables in Spine Surgery: advanced Spinal Deformity. Quality Medical Publishing. 2007, 2(2):13-90

Patel A., Schwab F., Farcy J., De Novo Scoliosis. In: Keith Bridwell, ed. The Textbook of Operative Spine Surgery. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Pub Status: Accepted

Selected Presentations

F Schwab, MD; B Diebo, MD; J Smith, MD, PhD; R Hostin, MD; C Shaffrey, MD; M Cunningham, MD, PhD; G Mundis Jr., MD; C Ames, MD; D Burton, MD; S Bess, MD; M. Gupta, MD; R Hart, MD; T Protopsaltis, MD; V Lafage, PhD, International Spine Study Group; Fine-Tuned Surgical Planning in Adult Spinal Deformity: Determining the Lumbar Lordosis Necessary by Accounting for Both Thoracic Kyphosis and Pelvic Incidence? North American Spine Society (NASS), San Francisco, CA, November 12-15 (2014)

J. Smith, C. Shaffrey, V. Lafage, F. Schwab, T. Protopsaltis, E. Klineberg, M.C. Gupta, K. Fu, R. Hostin, V. Deviren, R.A. Hart, D.C. Burton, S. Bess, C.P. Ames, International Spine Study Group. Prospective, Multicenter Assessment of Non-Operative Treatment Outcomes and Conversion to Operative Treatment for Adult Spinal Deformity: Minimum Two-Year Follow Up. International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) 21st Annual Meeting, Valencia, Spain. July 16-19, 2014

F. Schwab, B.Diebo, J.Smith, R. Hostin, C. Shaffrey, M. Cunningham, G.M. Mundis, C.P. Ames, D Burton, S. Bess, M.Gupta, R Hart, T. Protopsaltis, V Lafage, International Spine Study Group. Fine-Tuned Surgical Planning in Adult Spinal Deformity: Determining the Lumbar Lordosis Necessary by Accounting for both Thoracic Kyphosis and Pelvic Incidence. International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) 21st Annual Meeting, Valencia, Spain. July 16-19, 2014

Lafage V, Smith J, Schwab F, Shaffrey C, Klineberg E, Ames C, Hostin R, Fu KM, Kebaish K, Mummaneni P, Deviren V, Boachie-Adjei O, Hart R, Bess S, ISSG. Likelihood of Reaching Minimal Clinically Important Difference (MCID) in Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) Measures: Prospective Analysis of Operative and Non-operative Treatment of Adult Spinal Deformity (ASD).  Global Spine Congress, Hong Kong, April 4-6, 2013

Schwab F, Demakakos J, Blondel B, Ungar B, Buchowski J, Coe J, Deinlein D,  DeWald C, Mehdian H, Shaffrey C, Tribus C, Lafage V. Unmarked Image Validation of the SRS-Schwab Adult Deformity Classification. International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST), Istanbul Turkey, July 18-21, 2012

F Schwab, V Lafage, C Shaffrey, J Smith, B Blondel, C Ames, KM Fu, P Mummaneni, D Burton, M Gupta, V Deviren, G Mundis, R Hart, S Bess, International Spine Study Group. The Schwab-SRS Adult Spinal Deformity Classification: Assessment and Clinical Correlations Based On A Prospective Operative and Non-Operative Cohort. Lumbar Spine Research Society (LSRS), Chicago IL, April 26-27, 2012

F Schwab, JP Farcy, V Lafage, A Patel, S Glassman, K Bridwell.  Upper fusion level in Adult Spinal Deformity: Effectiveness of Classification in guiding treatment.  American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), San Diego, CA, February 15-19, 2011

S Bess, F Schwab, V Lafage, R Hostin, C Ames, E Klineberg, O Boachie, D Burton, R Hart, C Shaffrey, J Smith, ISSG. Thoracic Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy for Adult Spinal Deformity Improves Regional Spinal Deformity and Pelvic Tilt. Scoliosis Research Society (SRS), Kyoto, Japan, September 21-24, 2010

Schwab FJ, Kelly, Farcy JP, Mundis, Cunningham M, Akbarnia R, Hostin R, Hart R, Boachie-Adjei O, Burton D, Klineberg, Shaffrey C, Bess S, ISSG. Major Complications Following Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery: Is There A High Risk Patient Profile? Top Ten paper CNS 2009, October 24-29,  New Orleans, LA

Steven D. Glassman, MD; Frank Schwab, MD; Keith H. Bridwell, MD; Christopher I. Shaffrey, MD; William C. Horton, III, MD; Serena S. Hu, MD. Do One Year Outcomes Predict Two Year Outcomes in Adult Deformity Surgery? SRS 2008, September 10-13, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Schwab F, Lafage V, Patel A, Farcy JP, Bridwell K, Stephen Glassman, Shainline M. Patient Profiles in the Setting of Adult Spinal Deformity: Indications, Outcomes, and Clinical Success Considerations in 232 Patients with 2 Year Follow Up. NASS, Spineweek 2008, Geneva, May 26-31

F Schwab, J.P. Farcy, K. Bridwell, S. Berven, S. Glassman, W. Horton, . Shainline. “Surgical treatment analysis of 809 thoracolumbar and lumbar major adult deformity cases by a new adult scoliosis classification system”. International Phillip Zorab Symposium 2006, Oxford, UK.

Schwab, F.; Dubey, A.; Fegoun, A.; Gamez, L.; Hwang, K.; Farcy, JP.: Adult scoliosis: prevalence, SF-36 and nutritional parameters in an elderly volunteer population. Worldspine II. Chicago, IL, USA. August 10-13, 2003.

Schwab, F.; Farcy, J-P.; Harrast, J.; Ferguson, M.: Adult Scoliosis Classification - Multicenter analysis. Spinal Deformity Study Group. Chicago December 11-13, 2003.

Research Interests

Adult Spinal Deformity
Patient specific modeling and operative optimization of outcomes
Revisions spinal surgery, addressing junctional pathologies and alignment failures
Classification of adult spinal deformity with optimized treatment algorithms


Contact Information

Office Locations

Hospital for Special Surgery
523 East 72nd Street
New York, NY 10021

Tel: 212.774.2834
Fax: 212.774.2642

Mailing Address

Hospital for Special Surgery
535 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021

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