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Safdar N. Khan, MD

Safdar N. Khan, MDPosition: The Benjamin R. and Helen Slack Wiltberger Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Spine Surgery; Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and Chief, Division of Spine

Contact Information:

  • Clinic: (614) 293-0706
  • Office: (614) 293-0706
  • Fax: (614) 293-6250

Profile on OSU Wexner Medical Center site [link opens in a new browser window]

Curriculum Vitae on RIV [link opens in a new browser window]

Notes: Dr Khan is the Benjamin R. and Helen Slack Wiltberger Endowed Chair in Orthopaedic Spine Surgery; an Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and is the Chief of the Division of Spine in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

As a spine surgeon, he takes care of patients with conditions affecting the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine including complex degenerative conditions as well as adult and pediatric advanced deformity, which is his area of interest. Prior to clinical orthopaedics and spine surgery, Dr Khan spent nearly 4 years investigating the complexity of spine surgery by performing bench-top and clinical research at the prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City in the Spine Service under the tutelage of Harvinder S. Sandhu, MD and Joseph M. Lane, MD. One of the highlights of his time in research was to investigate the biology of spinal fusions and the role of growth factors and commonly used medications on spinal fusion. This was followed by a 6 year residency in orthopaedic surgery with a research year built in at the University of California, Davis. There with his mentor Mark Lee, MD, he was the first to identify adipokines (fat-derived cytokines) as playing a significant role in fracture repair during his research year.

Residency was followed by an adult and pediatric complex spine fellowship at the prestigious Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Thereafter Dr Khan was recruited to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to develop a spine service in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr Khan is the author of over 75 research publications, over 15 book chapters and has presented his research numerous times both nationally and internationally. Some of his accolades include "Intern of the Year" awarded by the Department of Neurosurgery at UC Davis; Best Research Paper Award for his work on adipokines from the California Orthopaedic Association (COA) as well as the Orthopaedic Research and Edication Foundation (OREF). He is on numerous national committees including the Biologic Implants Committee of the American Academy of Orthoapedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the North American Spine Society (NASS) Biologics Section. He has received grant support from OREF, Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) and Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA).

His patient care philosophy is to treat each patient as he would treat a member of his own family. In circumstances where surgery is needed, it’s already a very difficult and tense time for people. He prides himself in treating each patient as an individual. What might work for one patient might not work for everyone, so part of his job is to develop a treatment plan that’s specific to each person’s condition. That might include non-operative care or possibly surgery.

Dr Khan believes that by combining the tenants of research, teaching and education to provide excellent patient care, he is living Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's mission to provide personalized medicine for everyone.

He was born in Canada, grew up in Pakistan and came to this country in 1998. Since then, he has been involved in medical research, teaching and education. His wife is a clinical psychologist from California and they have four boys. In his free time, he love to cook and fancies himself an amateur chef. Back in the day he also used to play base guitar in a band; he enjoys soccer (Favorite club - Barcelona) and spending time with his family.

Patient Education Animation Library: Spine Conditions and Treatments

Spine Surgery Post-Operative Care Instructions

AAOS OrthoInfo: Neck and Back Information

Disk Replacement and Telespine by Dr. Khan at Wooster Community Hospital

Dr. Khan in top 10 percent of providers nationally for patient satisfaction in 2015-2016 fiscal year