Ralph B. Cloward (1908-2010)

Dr. Ralph Cloward, MD (1908-2010)

  • Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  • Medical School: University of Utah and Rush Medical College (University of Chicago). Graduated in 1934
  • Internship: St. Luke’s Hospital (1934-1935)
  • Neurosurgery residency: Billings Memorial and University of Chicago Clinics from 1935 to 1938 under Prof. Percival Bailey
  • Started practice in 1938 and was Chief of Staff (Neurosurgery) at Queen’s, St. Francis and Kuakini Hospitals, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Contributions to Spine Surgery:

  1. PLIF (posterior lumbar interbody fusion): Cloward first performed the procedure in 1943 and reported in 1945 to the Hawaii Territorial Medical Association.(Cloward, R. B. (1953). The treatment of ruptured lumbar intervertebral discs by vertebral body fusion.  I.  Indications, operative technique, after care. J Neurosurg, 10(2), 154–168.)
  2. ACDF (Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion): He developed the technique of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, also known as the Cloward procedure. (Cloward, R. B. (1958). The anterior approach for removal of ruptured cervical disks. J Neurosurg, 15(6), 602–617.)
  3. Designed over 100 surgical instruments.

Ralph B. Cloward interviewed by Roy Selby



Author: Kshitij Chaudhary

Kshitij Chaudhary is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon working at PD Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai, India. He has been trained in USA at Harvard University's Beth Israel Medical Center, Boston and Twin Cities Spine Center, Minneapolis. Special Interests: 1. Spinal Deformity and Scoliosis Surgery (Pediatric and Adult) 2. Cranio-vertebral and Cervical Spine Surgery 3. Spinal Tumors, Tuberculosis and Infections 4. Degenerative diseases of Lumbar spine 5. Spinal Trauma and Fractures 6. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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