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Faculty Profile

John K. Houten, M.D.

Dr. John K. Houten

Professor of Clinical Neurological Surgery, The Leo M. Davidoff Department of Neurological Surgery


Professional Interests

John K. Houten is a Professor of Clinical Neurosurgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is Chief of the Division of Spinal Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center. Born in Los Angeles, California, he traveled to New York where he graduated summa cum laude from Yeshiva University and with Alpha Omega Alpha honors from the New York University School of Medicine. He underwent fellowship training in spinal neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery at NYU Medical Center. Since his appointment in 2002, he has been responsible for a tremendous expansion of the volume and sophistication of spinal neurosurgery procedures at Montefiore. Some of his notable accomplishments have included performing the first artificial disc replacement and the first minimally invasive fusion procedure in the Bronx, and for performing several difficult spinal operations that drew regional and national media coverage.

In 2003, he devised and organized an annual CME course on diagnosis and management of degenerative spine disease with the goal of educating primary care and rehabilitation medicine physicians about the latest developments and technology available in spine care. This meeting continues to grow in popularity and typically attracts 200 participants, making it the largest meeting of its kind in the tri-state area.

Dr. Houten is devoted to fostering clinical and academic development of both the neurosurgical residents at Einstein/Montefiore and leads weekly conferences to discuss the management of spinal disease. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and is an ad hoc reviewer for a number of scientific journals including Neurosurgery, and Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Journal of Neurological Surgery. He is an active member of number of professional organizations including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the North American Spine Society, the American Society of Spinal Radiology, and the Cervical Spine Research Society where he has served on the research committee. He is married to Gila Weinstein, an attending plastic surgeon in private practice, and lives in Monsey, a suburb of New York City.


Selected Publications

Original Communications in Reviewed Journals


1.         Constantini S, Houten J, Miller DC, Freed D, Ozek MM, Rorke LB, et al.Intramedullary spinal cord tumors in children under the age of 3 years. J Neurosurg. 1996;85(6):1036-43.

2.         Houten JK, Cooper PR. Spinal cord astrocytomas: presentation, management and outcome. J Neurooncol. 2000;47(3):219-24.

3.         Houten JK, Cooper PR. Pyogenic Osteomyelitis of the Spine. Contemporary Neurosurgery. 2000(22).

4.         Houten JK, Weiner HL. Pediatric intramedullary spinal cord tumors: special considerations. J Neurooncol. 2000;47(3):225-30.

5.         Frempong-Boadu A, Houten JK, Osborn B, Opulencia J, Kells L, Guida DD, et al.Swallowing and speech dysfunction in patients undergoing    anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: a prospective, objective preoperative and postoperative assessment. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2002;15(5):362-8.

6.         Houten JK, Babu RP, Miller DC. Thoracic paraganglioma presenting with spinal cord compression and metastases. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2002;15(4):319-23.

7.         Houten JK, Errico TJ. Paraplegia after lumbosacral nerve root block: report of three cases. Spine J. 2002;2(1):70-5.

8.         Sanderson SP, Houten JK. Fracture through the C2 synchondrosis in a young child. Pediatr Neurosurg. 2002;36(5):277-8.

9.         Houten JK, Cooper PR. Laminectomy and posterior cervical plating for multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy and ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament: effects on cervical alignment, spinal cord compression, and neurological outcome. Neurosurgery. 2003;52(5):1081-7; discussion 7-8.

10.       Houten JK, Sanderson SP, Cooper PR. Spontaneous regression of symptomatic lumbar synovial cysts. Report of three cases. J Neurosurg. 2003;99(2 Suppl):235-8.

11.       Houten JK, Frempong-Boadu AK, Arkovitz MS. Bowel injury as a complication of microdiscectomy: case report and literature review. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2004;17(3):248-50.

12.       Sanderson SP, Houten J, Errico T, Forshaw D, Bauman J, Cooper PR. The unique characteristics of "upper" lumbar disc herniations. Neurosurgery. 2004;55(2):385-9; discussion 9.

13.       Chandela S, Llena JF, Houten JK. Management of Skip-Lesions in Dialysis-Related Cervical Spondyloarthropathy. The Internet Journal of Neurosurgery. 2006;3(1).

14.       Chwajol M, Houten JK. Correlation of anomalous vascular and osseous anatomy in congenital kyphosis type I. Case report. J Neurosurg Spine. 2006;5(3):259-63.

15.       Houten JK, Post NH, Dryer JW, Errico TJ. Clinical and radiographically/neuroimaging documented outcome in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. Neurosurg Focus. 2006;20(3):E8.

16.       Roonprapunt C, Houten JK. Spinal cord astrocytomas: presentation, management, and outcome. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2006;17(1):29-36.

17.       Houten JK, Noce LA. Clinical correlations of cervical myelopathy and the Hoffmann sign. J Neurosurg Spine. 2008;9(3):237-42.

18.       Houten JK, Alexandre LC, Nasser R, Wollowick AL. Nerve injury during the transpsoas approach for lumbar fusion. J Neurosurg Spine. 2011;15(3):280-4.

19.       Houten JK, Kinon MD, Goodrich JT. Morquio's syndrome and craniocervical instability. Pediatr Neurosurg. 2011;47(3):238-40.

20.       Houten JK, Tandon A. Comparison of postoperative values for C-reactive protein in minimally invasive and open lumbar spinal fusion surgery. Surg Neurol Int. 2011;2:94.

21.       Houten JK, Nasser R. Symptomatic Progression of Degenerative Scoliosis After Decompression and Limited Fusion Surgery for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: Case Report and Literature Review. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2012; Apr;20(4):613-5.

22.       Houten JK, Nasser R. Vertebral Anomalies in Siblings with Fanconi's Anemia. Pediatric Neurosurgery. 2012; 48(4):264-6

23.       Houten JK, Nasser R, Baxi N. Clinical assessment of percutaneous lumbar pedicle screw placement using theO-arm multidimensional surgical imaging system. Neurosurgery. 2012;70(4):990-5.


  Book Chapters and Review Articles

 1.        Houten JK, Cooper PR. Current Management of Intramedullary Spinal Cord Tumors. Neurosurgery Quarterly. 2000;10:196-210.

2.         Houten JK, Dryer JW, Errico T. Current Diagnosis and Management of Lumbar Stenosis in the Elderly Patient. Musculoskeletal Medicine. 2000;18:158-66.

3.         Houten JK, Cooper PR. Pyogenic Osteomyelitis of the Spine. Contemporary Spinal Surgery. 2001(2).

4.         Goldstein I, Houten J. Intramedullary Astrocytomas. In: Berger M, Prados M, eds. Textbook of Neurooncology. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2003.

5.         Houten JK, Errico T. Cervical Myelopathy and Radiculopathy: Natural History and Presentation. In: Herkowitz H, ed. The Cervical Spine 4th Edition. Chicago: Cervical Spine Research Society; 2004:985-90.

6.         Houten JK, Errico T. The History of Spinal Instrumentation: The Modern Era. In: Benzel E, ed. Spine Surgery: Techniques, Complication Avoidance, and Management. Baltimore: Churchill Livingstone; 2008.

7.         Verma K, Houten JK, Errico T. Spine Surgery: Techniques, Complication Avoidance, and Management. In: Benzel EC, ed. Spine Surgery: Techniques, Complication Avoidance, and Management 3rd Edition. Philadephia: Elsevier Sunders; 2012:21-9.

8.         Yassari R, Houten JK. Spinal Cord Abscess, Hemorrhage, and Trauma. In: Pike M, ed. The Paediatric Spinal Cord. London: MacKeith Press; 2013.





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