Dr. Lenke’s Bio
Dr. Lawrence G. Lenke is the Jerome J. Gilden Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor of Neurological Surgery. He is also Chief of Spinal Surgery and the Director of the Advanced Deformity Fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri. His practice is devoted exclusively to the treatment of severe pediatric and adult spinal deformity. He sees patients at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s Hospitals.
Dr. Lenke graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame. He attended medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago also graduating with honors. He completed his surgical internship and orthopaedic surgical residency at Washington University School of Medicine, where he also completed a pediatric and adult spinal surgery fellowship. Dr. Lenke remained at Washington University as an attending spinal surgeon, rising from the ranks of Assistant Professor to the Jerome J. Gilden Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in less than 10 years.
Dr. Lenke is world-renowned for the surgical treatment of pediatric and adult patients with various forms of spinal anomalies, with expertise in the most complex deformities. Thus, he is a leading authority on such spinal deformities as scoliosis, kyphosis, flatback syndrome, high-grade spondylolisthesis, and major coronal and sagittal malalignment. Dr. Lenke has been listed in America’s Top Doctors for the past 10 years and Best Doctors in America the past 15 years. Dr. Lenke was honored with the North American Spine Society’s 2013 Leon Wiltse Award for excellence in leadership and/or clinical research in spine care. Also in 2013, Dr. Lenke was listed in Orthopedics This Week as one of “The Top 28 Spine Surgeons in North America”. He served as president of the Scoliosis Research Society 2010-2011, the oldest and most prestigious spine society in the world whose single focus is the advancement of care in patients with spinal deformity.
Current Academic Interests
Dr. Lenke’s goal has always been to be the top academic spinal deformity surgeon in the world. This internal drive is based on the connection between high-level spinal deformity research and optimizing patient care for those requiring surgery. He is principal investigator of a landmark international research study, “Evaluation of Neurologic Complications Associated with Surgical Correction of Adult Spinal Deformity (Scoli-RISK-1): A Prospective, Observational, Multi-center Study” in collaboration with AOSpine International and the Scoliosis Research Society, which won the Russell A. Hibbs Clinical Award for Best Clinical Paper at the 48th Annual Scoliosis Research Society Meeting in 2013. His prolific clinical research has culminated in numerous publications (over 450), presentations (over 1000) as well as presiding as chair of over 100 spinal surgery courses worldwide has led to innovative treatments for his patients and many others globally. He has edited several textbooks on spinal deformity surgery, and serves as editor for such notable medical journals as Spine, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, The Spine Journal, The Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques and the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. While president of the Scoliosis Research Society, he chaired a task force that led to the development of a new journal, Spine Deformity, which debuted in January 2013 as the official journal of the SRS. Dr. Lenke serves as one of the inaugural deputy editors of this new journal. Based on his past academic and clinical achievements, Dr. Lenke offers the latest and safest techniques, giving extra attention to neurologic issues, for surgical correction of even the most severe spinal deformities.
View article in Becker’s Spine Review: How to Move the Field Forward, with Dr. Lawrence Lenke >
Dr. Lenke alongside with founder, Dr. Anthony Rinella, believe it is important for children whose family live in countries that do not have the technology or appropriate training to perform the complex surgeries these children desperately need to live a happy and healthy life, thus; they donate their time through Global Spine Outreach, transforming the lives of patients with complex spinal deformities around the world and helping medical teams learn advanced spinal techniques.