Francis H. Shen, MD

Dr. Francis H. Shen is the Warren G. Stamp Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Pediatrics, head of the Orthopaedic division of Spine, and Co-Director of the Spine Center at UVA. He completed an undergraduate biomedical engineering degree from the University of Michigan, received his M.D. and completed Orthopaedic Surgery residency at UVA. This was followed by a Spine Surgery Fellowship at Rush University and Pediatric Spinal Deformity training at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago. He also completed an Orthopaedic Research Fellowship at UVA, and was selected as a Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) Traveling Fellow and North American Spine Society (NASS) Traveling Fellow.

Dr. Shen’s clinical practice includes the management of degenerative conditions, spinal deformity, trauma, tumors, and infections of the spine. He utilizes traditional open surgical techniques, but also specializes in cutting-edge minimally invasive surgery, image guided spine surgery, and microsurgery. He performed the first robotic-assisted spine surgery, and the first robotic-assisted computer image-guided surgery at UVA. Dr. Shen has been recognized as a Top Doctor by US News and World Report, Castle Connolly Top Physicians, and profiled by Becker’s Spine Review. He has developed several novel surgical techniques, which have been published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature and textbooks.

Dr. Shen’s basic science research is focused on improving the future of patient care by applying tissue engineering principles to solve clinically relevant problems. Nationally, he is the Director of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon’s Board Review Course, he serves as a Board Examiner for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and is an editorial board member for The Spine Journal, SPINE, European Spine Journal, and SpineLine. Internationally, Dr. Shen has served as a Board Member of the AOSpine Foundation, was a program member of the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques, and is a member of the Cervical Spine Society Executive Board. He has been the recipient of numerous clinical and basic science awards including multiple awards for Outstanding Basic Science Papers, and Outstanding Clinical Papers in The Spine Journal. He has received over 20 Young Investigator Awards, Career Development Grants, and Foundation Awards for his basic science and clinical research.

Beyond Orthopaedics
“I try to spend as much time as I can with my daughter. She is the light of my life. For me,  I like to stay active by running and going to work out whenever possible.”


Office Location:
UVA Orthopaedic Center
2280 Ivy Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Mailing Address:
Dept. Orthopaedic Surgery
University of Virginia
PO Box 800159
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Clinical Office Phone:
Administrative Office Phone:
Office Fax:


Warren G. Stamp Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Virginia

Professor of Pediatrics, University of Virginia

Spine Division Head, University of Virginia

Co-Director of the Spine Center

Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs

Specialty and Subspecialty

Specialty: Orthopaedic Surgery

Subspecialty: Spinal Surgery


Education:   B.S., Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan (1992)
M.D., University of Virginia (1996)

Residency:   Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Virginia
Orthopaedic Research Fellowship, University of Virginia

Fellowship: Spine Surgery, Rush University
Pediatric Spinal Deformity, Shriners Hospitals for Children
North American Spine Society Clinical Traveling Fellowship
Scoliosis Research Society Traveling Fellows

Special Expertise

Minimally-invasive spine surgery

Image guided spine surgery

Management of degenerative conditions

Spinal deformity

Trauma, tumors, and infections of the spine

Certification and Licensure

Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery (American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons)

Licensed to practice in Virginia


Best Doctors in America (2014-2017, 2019)

Best Bedside Manner, Our Health Charlottesville (2019)

Master Clinician Award, University of Virginia (2018)

European Spine Journal Reviewer of the Year (2015)

2015 NASS Best Meeting Paper, North American Spine Society (2015)

Top Doctor in Orthopaedic Surgery, U.S. News (2012-2017)

SPINE Journal Reviewer of the Year, SPINE (2012)

2012 NASS Outstanding Basic Science Paper Runner-Up, Spine Journal (2012)

OTA Advisor Resident Award, Orthopaedic Trauma Association (2012)

Clinician Scientist Award, OREF (2004-2012)

Career Development Award, MTF (2007)

Young Investigator Award, North American Spine Society (2007)

National Osteoporosis Foundation Award (2007)

New Investigator Award, Cervical Spine Research Society (2007)


Early onset scoliosis

Fusion-less deformity correction

Patient outcomes after spinal surgery

Clinical Trials

NovoSeven (F7SPIN-2180). Role: Principle Investigator. Title: Evaluating the safety of activated recombinant Factor VII in spinal surgery. Goal: This randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multicenter, dose-escalation study evaluated the safety of activated recombinant Factor VII in spinal surgery.

Stryker Biotech (S01-01US). Role: Principle Investigator . Title: A prospective, randomized, controlled, multicenter, pivotal study of OP-1 putty in uninstrumented posterolateral fusions. Goal: To investigate efficacy and safety of OP-1 putty in uninstrumented posterolateral fusions.

Synthes Spine. Role: Principle Investigator . Title: Demineralized bone matrix as an adjunct to spinal fusion. Goal: Investigates autograft versus DBX putty combined with autograft used as a posterolateral lumbar spinal fusion.



Recent Publications

Labaran LA, Puvanesarajah V, Rao SS, Chen D, Shen FH, Jain A, Hassanzadeh H. “Recent Preoperative Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection is an Independent Risk Factor for Incidental Durotomy During Lumbar Discectomy.” Global Spine J. 2019 Dec;9(8):807-812. doi: 10.1177/2192568219833656. Epub 2019 Mar 21. PMID 31819845

Xiao L, Huang R, Zhang Y, Li T, Dai J, Nannapuneni N, Chastanet TR, Chen M, Shen FH, Jin L, Dorn HC, Li X. “A New Formyl Peptide Receptor-1 Antagonist Conjugated Fullerene Nanoparticle for Targeted Treatment of Degenerative Disc Diseases.” ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019 Oct 23;11(42):38405-38416. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b11783. Epub 2019 Oct 8. PMID 31556594

Shen FH. “Should we Measure? and More Importantly Should we Report? Perspective from an Adult Orthopaedic Deformity Surgeon.” Skeletal Radiol. 2019 Jun;48(6):835-836 doi: 10.1007/s00256-019-3154-2. Epub 2019 Mar 11. No abstract available. PMID 30854601

Xiao L, Majumdar R, Dai J, Li Y, Xie L, Shen FH, Jin L, Li X. “Molecular Detection and Assessment of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration via a Collagen Hybridizing Peptide.” ACS Biomater Sci Eng. 2019 Apr 8;5(4):1661-1667. doi: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.9b00070. Epub 2019 Feb 28. PMID 31788555