Department of Neurosurgery - Penn Neurosurgery Spine Center

Department of Orthopaedics - Penn Orthopedic Spine Service

Department of Anesthesia Penn Pain Medicine

Department of Neurointerventional Radiology

Bryan Pukenas, MD

Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Faculty:

Christopher Plastaras, MD

Adrian Popescu, MD

Fellows:

Marzena Buzanowska, MD

William Bonner, MD

Staff:

Radiology Technician: Coleen McLaughlin, XRT

Procedure Scheduling: Rebecca Rushin

Christopher Plastaras, MD

Spine & Sports Medicine
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Director, Penn Spine Center

Director, Spine, Sports, & Musculoskeletal Medicine Fellowship

Click here for Penn Perelman School of Medicine Profile

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  Christopher Plastaras, MD

Christopher T. Plastaras, MD joined the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Professor of PM&R as the Director of the Penn Spine Center in 2009.

Dr. Plastaras received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his internship at Albert Einstein Medical Center and his residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.  He practiced for 9 years at Northwestern University/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Spine & Sports Rehabilitation Center.  He is board certified in Sports Medicine, Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 

Dr. Plastaras specializes in Spine and Sports Medicine.  His clinical interests are the non-surgical management of musculoskeletal conditions including spine related pain, shoulder/hip/knee/foot/ankle pain, and running injuries.  His practice includes fluoroscopically guided interventional procedures treating peripheral joints, "facet" joints, epidurals, and radiofrequency ablation.

EDUCATION

Chief Residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,  Northwestern University Medical School / Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University Medical School / Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Transitional Internship, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA

Doctor of Medicine  University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Bachelor of Arts, Physics Emory University, Atlanta, GA

BOARD CERTIFICATION

Board Certified, Sports Medicine    

Board Certified, American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine

Board Certified, American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

   

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Plastaras C, McCormick Z, Garvan C, Macron D, Joshi A, Chimes G, Smeal W, Rittenberg J, Kennedy DJ. "Adverse Events Associated With Fluoroscopically Guided Lumbosacral Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections." The Spine Journal (2015). PMID 26065819; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2015.05.034

 McCormick Z, Cushman D, Caldwell M, Marshall B, Ghannad L, Eng C, Patel J, Makovitch S, Chu SK, Babu AN, Walega DR, Marciniak C, Press J, Kennedy DJ, Plastaras C. Does Electrodiagnostic Confirmation of Radiculopathy Predict Pain Reduction after Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection? A Multicenter Study. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(8) 2015:e140. PMID:26251843

McCormick Z, Kennedy DJ, Garvan C, Rivers E, Temme K, Margolis S, Zander E, Rohr A, Smith MC, Plastaras C. "Comparison of Pain Score Reduction Using Triamcinolone vs. Betamethasone in Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections for Lumbosacral Radicular Pain." American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2015. DOI: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000296. PMID:25888660

Sung W, Abraham M, Plastaras C, Silfies SP. “Trunk Motor Control Deficits in Acute and Subacute Low Back Pain are Not Associated with Pain or Fear of Movement” The Spine Journal 2015, Volume 15, Issue 8, Pages 1772–1782.

Cushman D, McCormick Z, Casey E, Plastaras CT. “Discrepancies in Describing Pain: Is There Agreement Between Numeric Rating Scale Scores and Pain Reduction Percentage Reported by Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain After Corticosteroid Injection?” Pain Medicine 2015 (16:5): 870-876.

Kennedy DJ, Schneider B, Smuck M, Plastaras CT. "The Use of Moderate Sedation for the Secondary Prevention of Adverse Vasovagal Reactions" Pain Medicine. April 2015 (16:4): 673 -679.

McCormick Z, Margolis S, Temme K, Rivers E, Cameron SA, Smith MC, Rohr A, Zander E, Garvan C, Kennedy DJ, Plastaras C. “Concordant Pain Provocation During Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection for Lumbosacral Radiculopathy: Effect on Pain Outcome and Predictive Factors” Pain Physician. January/February 2015 (18:1): E19-E26.

McCormick Z, Cushman D, Casey E, Garvan C, Kennedy DJ, Plastaras C. "Factors Associated with Pain Reduction after Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection for Lumbosacral Radicular Pain." Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2014). doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.07.404.

Plastaras C, McCormick Z, Macron D, Garvan C,  Joshi A, Chimes G, Smeal W, Rittenberg J. "Adverse Events Associated with Fluoroscopically Guided Zygapophyseal Joint Injections." Pain Physician 17 (2014): 297-304.

Schneider B, Kennedy DJ, Casey E, Smuck M, Conrad B, Plastaras C. “Trainee Involvement in Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections Associated With Increased Incidence of Vasovagal Reactions.”  PM&R Journal 6 (10) October 2014:914 -919.  DOI: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2014.04.003

Kennedy DJ, Plastaras C, Casey E, Visco CJ, Rittenberg JD, Conrad B, Sigler J, Dreyfuss P. “Comparative Effectiveness of Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections with Particulate Versus Nonparticulate Corticosteroids for Lumbar Radicular Pain due to Intervertebral Disc Herniation: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind Trial.” Pain Medicine (2014) 1526-2375.

Plastaras CT, Chhatre A, Kotcharian AS. "Perioperative Lower Extremity Peripheral Nerve Traction Injuries." Orthopedic Clinics of North America 45.1 (2014): 55-63.

Plastaras CT, Chhatre A, Kotcharian AS. "Perioperative Upper Extremity Peripheral Nerve Traction Injuries." Orthopedic Clinics of North America 45.1 (2014): 47-53.

Marciniak C, Caldera F, Welty L, Lai J, Lento P, Feldman E, Sered H, Sayeed Y, Plastaras C. High-Resolution Median Nerve Sonographic Measurements Correlations With Median Nerve Conduction Studies in Healthy Adults. J Ultrasound Med 2013; 32:2091–2098.

Plastaras C, Appasamy M, Sayeed Y, McLaughlin C, Charles J, Joshi A, Macron D, Pukenas  B. Fluoroscopy Procedure and Equipment Changes to Reduce Staff Radiation Exposure in the Interventional Spine Suite. Pain Physician. 2013 (16): E731-E738.

Vasovagal Rates in Flouroscopically Guided Interventional Procedures: A Study of Over 8,000 Injections. Kennedy DJ, Schneider B, Casey E, Rittenberg J, Conrad B, Smuck M, Plastaras CT. Pain Medicine.  Article first published online: 4 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/pme.12241.

Plastaras CT, Beery TP, Chhatre AM.  Non-Operative Management of a Cervical Zygoapophysial Joint Cyst: Case Report. Journal of Pain & Relief 2(116), 2167-0846 doi:10.4172/2167-0846.1000116  2013.

 McCormick Z, Plastaras C. Lumbosacral transforaminal epidural steroid injections are equally effective for treatment of lumbosacral radicular pain in the obese compared to non-obese population: A pilot study. Journal of Back & Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. 2013 Jan 1;26(2):183-8. doi: 10.3233/BMR-130366.

Visco CJ, Kennedy DJ, Chimes GP, Rittenberg J, McLean J, Dawson P, Margolis S, Ihm J, Sliwa J, Smeal W, Sorosky B, Plastaras C. Programmatic Design for Teaching the Introductory Skills and Concepts of Lumbar Spine Procedures to Physiatry Residents A Prospective Multiyear Study. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 92(3): 248-257, March 2013.

Fitzgerald CM, Plastaras C, Mallinson T.  A Retrospective Study on the Efficacy of Pubic Symphysis Corticosteroid Injections in the Treatment of Pubic Symphysis Pain. Pain Medicine 2011 12(12), 1831–1835.

Bayruns TJ, Angiolillo F, Beery T, Plastaras C. Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Following a Two Level IDET Procedure: A Case Study. Orthopedic Physical Therapy Practice Vol 23;4:2011: 198-202.

Plastaras CT, Schran S, Kim N, Sorosky S, Darr D, Chen MS, Lansky RComplementary and Alternative Treatment for Neck Pain: Chiropractic, Acupuncture, TENS, Massage, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Feldenkrais Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 2011 22 (3): 521–537.

Plastaras CT, Joshi AB.  The Electrodiagnostic Evaluation of Neck Pain.  Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 22 (2011) 429–438, 2011.

Plastaras CT, Joshi AB.  The Electrodiagnostic Evaluation of Radiculopathy.  Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 22(1):59-74, February 2011.

Plastaras CT, Casey E, Goodman BS, Chou L, Roth D, Rittenberg J, Inadvertent Intradiscal Contrast Flow During Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections: A Case Series Examining the Prevalence of Intradiscal Injection as well as Potential Associated Factors and Adverse Events. Pain Medicine. 2010; 11: 1765–1773

Smuck M, Maxwell MD, MD, Kennedy DJ, Rittenberg JD, Lansberg MG, Plastaras CT. Utility of the anesthetic test dose to avoid catastrophic injury during cervical transforaminal epidural injections. The Spine Journal, 10 (2010) 857–864.

Plastaras CT, Casey E, Goodman BS, Chou L, Roth D, Rittenberg J, Inadvertent Intradiscal Contrast Flow During Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections: A Case Series Examining the Prevalence of Intradiscal Injection as well as Potential Associated Factors and Adverse Events. Pain Medicine, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00943.x

McLean JP, Sigler JD, Plastaras CT, Garvan CW, Rittenberg JD. The Rate of Detection of Intravascular Injection in Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections With and Without Digital Subtraction Angiography. PM&R Journal. 1(7): 636-642, July 2009.

Fasen J, O'Connor A, Schwartz S, Watson J, Plastaras C, Garvan C, Bulcao C, Johnson S, Akuthota V. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Hamstring Stretching: Comparison of Four Techniques.  Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 23(2):660-667, March 2009.

Plastaras CT, Marciniak CM, Sipple DP, D'Amore KG, Garvan C, Zaman SM: Effect of interelectrode distance on sural nerve action potential parameters. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 87(3):183-188, March 2008.

Plastaras C, Heller D, Sorosky B, Houle T. “Pain reproduction during lumbosacral transforaminal epidural steroid injection does not affect outcome” Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 19(2-3): 57 – 60, 2006

Plastaras C, Rittenberg, J, Rittenberg K, Press J, Akuthota V. “Comprehensive Functional Evaluation of the Injured Runner” Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 16(3): 623-649, August 2005.

Slipman CW, Plastaras C, Patel R, Isaac Z, Chow D, Garvan C, Pauza K, Furman M “Provocative cervical discography symptom mapping” The Spine Journal, 5(4): 381-388, July-August 2005

Akuthota V, Plastaras C, Lindberg K, Tobey, J, Press J, Garvan C “The Effect of Long-Distance Bicycling on Ulnar and Median Nerves: An Electrophysiologic Evaluation of Cyclist Palsy” Accepted for publication in  American Journal of Sports Medicine, 33(8), 2005

Sorosky B, Press J, Plastaras C, Rittenberg J “The Practical Management of Achilles Tendinopathy” Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 14(1): 40-44, January 2004.

Plastaras CT: “Electrodiagnostic Challenges in the Evaluation of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis” Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 14:57-69, February 2003

Slipman CW, Lipetz JS, Jackson HB, Plastaras CT, Vresilovic EJ: “Outcomes of therapeutic selective nerve root blocks for whiplash induced cervical radicular pain” Pain Physician 4(2): 167-174, 2001

Slipman CW, Lipetz JS, Plastaras CT, Jackson HB, Vresilovic EJ, Lenrow DA, Braverman DL: “Fluoroscopically guided therapeutic sacroiliac joint injections for sacroiliac joint syndrome” American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 80(6): 425-32, 2001 June

Roth EJ, Plastaras CT, Mullin MS, Fillmore J, Moses ML: “A Simple Institutional Educational Intervention to Decrease Use of Selected Expensive Medications” Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 82 (5): 633-636, 2001 May

Slipman CW, Lipetz JS, Plastaras CT, Jackson HB, Yang ST, Meyer AM: “ Therapeutic zygapophyseal joint injections for headaches emanating from the C2-3 joint.”American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. 80(3): 182-188, 2001 March.

Slipman CW, Plastaras CT, Palmitier RA, Huston CW, Sterenfeld EB: “Symptom Provocation of Fluoroscopically Guided Cervical Nerve Root Stimulation: Are Dynatomal Maps Identical to Dermatomal Maps?” Spine 23(20): 2235-42, 1998 Oct 15

 

BOOK CHAPTERS, LETTERS, CASES AND REVIEWS

McCormick Z, Kennedy DJ, Garvan C, Rivers E, Temme K, Margolis S, Zander E, Rohr A, Smith MC, Plastaras C. "Response to: Letter to the Editor Regarding Comparison of Pain Score Reduction Using Triamcinolone vs. Betamethasone in Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections for Lumbosacral Radicular Pain." American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2015 APR 16 [epub ahead of print]

Kennedy DJ, Schneider B, Smuck M, Plastaras CT. “Response to Letter by Dr. Lipetz.” Pain Medicine. (August 2015) doi: 10.1111/pme.12879. PMID:26272826

Plastaras C, Tsay T, Schran S, Zhang Y, Becker S, Pukenas B. “Vertebral Benign Notochordal Cell Tumor (BNCT) as Incidental Finding in Cervical Radiculitis.” PM&R Journal. 2015 Aug 7. pii: S1934-1482(15)00922-3. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2015.07.013. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID 26261025

Plastaras CT, Tsay T. Injury Prevention and Return to Competition in Biagioli B. Advanced Concepts of Strength & Conditioning. National Council on Strength & Fitness, 623-627, 2015.

Plastaras CT, Tsay T. Common Sports Injuries in Biagioli B. Advanced Concepts of Strength & Conditioning. National Council on Strength & Fitness, 627-655, 2015.

Plastaras CT, Appasamy M. Interventional Procedures for Musculoskeletal Pain in Pregnancy and Postpartum: Efficacy and Safety in Fitzgerald CM, Segal NA. Musculoskeletal Health in Pregnancy and Postpartum. Springer, 115-134, 2015.

Plastaras CT, Kotcharian AS, Chhatre A. Lumbar Epidural Injections: Review of Efficacy and Discussion of Practice Options. Journal of Orthopedics & Rheumatology 2015;2(1): 12.

Plastaras CT, Schran S, Constantino J. “Complementary and alternative medicine for neck pain: Focus on manipulative therapies-chiropractic and osteopathic techniques.” TANG 4, no. 4 (2014): 25-28.

Kennedy DJ, Plastaras C, Casey E, Visco CJ, Rittenberg JD, Conrad B, Sigler J, Dreyfuss P. "Response to Dr. Candido et al." Pain Medicine (2014) doi: 10.1111/pme.12573.

Plastaras CT, Fang J, Gleason W. Peripheral neuropathies associate with systemic disease. PM&R Knowledge NOW/American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. http://me.aapmr.org/kn/article.html?id=283 .  Published 9/20/14.

Furman  MB, Plastaras CT, Popescu A, Tekmyster G, Davidoff S, Kennedy DJ. "Should Antiplatelet Medications Be Held Before Cervical Epidural Injections?" PM&R Journal 6, no. 5 (2014): 442-450.

Plastaras CT, Fang J. Meniscus injuries of the knee. PM&R Knowledge NOW/American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. http://now.aapmr.org/msk/disorders-lower-limb/Pages/Meniscus-injuries-of-the-knee.aspx. Published 9/20/13. 

Plastaras CT, Schran S, Kim N, Darr D, Chen MS. Manipulative Therapy (Feldenkrais, Massage, Chiropractic Manipulation) for Neck Pain. Current Rheumatology Reports, Volume 15, Issue 7. 2013. 

Vasudevan JM, Plastaras C, Becker S.  Cervical Radiculopathy in Wyss JF, Patel AD. Therapeutic Programs for Musculoskeletal Disorder, New York, DemosMedical, 279-288, 2013. 

Plastaras CT, Casey E, Goodman BS, Chou L, Roth D, Rittenberg J, Intradiscal Injections Following Transforaminal Block-Etiology and Evidence for Withholding Prophylactic Antibiotics Response. Pain Medicine. 2011; 12: 1691.

Plastaras CT, Pang S. Cervical Spine Injuries and Conditions. in Harrast M & Finoff, J. Sports Medicine: Study Guide and Review for Boards. Demos Medical, 199-208, 2011.

Plastaras CTF-Waves in Visco CJ, Chimes GP. McLean Course in Electrodiagnostic Medicine, New York, DemosMedical, 37-41, 2011.

Cifu D, Plastaras C, Prather H. PM&R fellowship training. PM&R. 2009 Dec;1(12):1104-8.

Plastaras CT,  Sowa G, Sorosky B.  Lumbar Degenerative Disc in Slipman CW, Derby R, Simeone FA, and, et al. Interventional Spine: An Algorithmic Approach, Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 813-826, 2008.

Frank LW, Fredericson M, Furman MB, Plastaras CT, Robinson HW. Musculoskeletal Practice After Residency. Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports, and Occupational Rehabilitation Task Force, AAPM&R, 2004.

Press JM, Plastaras CT, Wiesner SL. Physical Modalities and Pain Management in Rehabilitation of Sports Injuries. Frontera, W (ed), 204-231

Plastaras C.  “A New Age: RIC makes recommendations for adopting technology” feature article in Advance for Directors in Rehabilitation vol 12, number 9, September 2003, p 87-90.

Rittenberg J, Plastaras C.  Invited Review on Radiation Safety for the Spine Provider,  SpineLine 2006


Adrian Popescu, MD

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Site Program Director for Pain Medicine Fellowship (Dept. of Anesthesiology and Critical Care) for VAMC, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania

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Click here for Penn Medicine Profile

 

 

  Adrian Popescu, MD

Adrian Popescu, MD joined the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Professor of PM&R in 2011.

EDUCATION

Fellowship, Pain Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Philadelphia, PA

Chief Residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,  Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Internship, Internship, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Postdoctoral Fellow, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, PA

Doctor of Medicine  Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
 

BOARD CERTIFICATION

Board Certified, American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Board certified in Pain Medicine- ABMS- American Board of Physical Medicine and
Rehabilitation

JOURNAL ARTICLES

Salcido R, Popescu A, Ahn C   Animal Models in Pressure Ulcer Research.  Journal of Spinal Cord Injury 2007. J Spinal Cord Med. 2007;30(2):107-16.

Popescu A. and R. Salcido     Wound Pain: A Challenge for the Patient and Wound Care Specialist. Adv. in Skin and Wound Care.2004 Jan-Feb; 17(1):14-20.

 

BOOK CHAPTERS, LETTERS, CASES AND REVIEWS

Furman  MB, Plastaras CT, Popescu A, Tekmyster G, Davidoff S, Kennedy DJ. "Should Antiplatelet Medications Be Held Before Cervical Epidural Injections?" PM&R Journal 6, no. 5 (2014): 442-450.

      Popescu, A and Gupta A. Lumbar transforaminal epidural steroid interventions. (Chapter 3.2) in Interventional Pain Medicine- Oxford University Press, 2011, pp 106-111

 

      Goldman, R.J, Popescu, A, Hess, C and Salcido, R.  The Prevention and Management of Chronic Wounds”; (Chapter 33) in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 3rd Edition, Randall L. Braddom, ed. Elsevier, 2006

 

     


      Marzena Buzanowska, MD

   

EDUCATION

Fellowship (current), Penn Spine Center, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Internship, Internal Medicine Residency, Preliminary Year, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Doctor of Medicine  Wright State University, Philadelphia, PA

Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, Cum Laude, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH


 

    William Bonner, MD

   

EDUCATION

Fellowship (current), Penn Spine Center, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Chief Residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Residency, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Internship, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ

Doctor of Medicine  Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Bachelor of Arts, Physics, Mathematics minor, Magna cum laude, Georgetown University, Washington, DC