Close-up of the electrodes on a patient's back in the gait lab


The main focus of research today is on the clinical testing of artificial discs in the cervical and lumbar spine, as well as the treatment of spinal stenosis and osteoporosis fractures.

Spinal surgery has a long tradition at the University Hospital Basel. Several implant systems have been developed at the Orthopaedic Clinic over the years.

Prof. Stefan Schären has been Chief Physician of Spinal Surgery since 1.7.2014.

Prof. Bernard Jeanneret, Head of the Department of Spinal Surgery from 1996 to 2013, developed the CerviFix, an implant system for the dorsal stabilization of instabilities in the cervical spine, together with the AO in 1993.

Prof. Walter Dick, Head of the Orthopaedic Clinic until 2008, also developed the internal fixator for dorsal short-segment stabilization of vertebral fractures of the thoracolumbar spine in collaboration with the AO in 1982.

Prof. Erwin Morscher, Head of the Orthopaedic Clinic until 1995, developed the ventral locking plate for the cervical spine and the hooks for stabilizing spondylolysis in the lumbar spine together with the AO (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthese) in the 1980s.

Research in the Basel Functional Biomechanics Laboratory

The Basel Laboratory for Functional Biomechanics (BFBL) was founded in 2015 and brings together expertise in human biomechanical research, orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine and is headed by Prof. Dr. Annegret Mündermann and Dr. Corina Nüesch.

The BFBL is part of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (Chairman Prof. Dr. Daniel Rikli) and Spinal Surgery (Chairman Prof. Dr. Stefan Schären) at the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. The BFBL is located in ward block 3 of the University Hospital Basel.

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Clinical research

Our research never stands still in order to constantly improve our treatment methods and therapeutic approaches for our patients.
patients. Here you will find information
about our various research projects
within the clinical research department.

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Our publications

You can find all our publications here.

Selected publications

Selected publications 2022:

Systemic considerations for the surgical treatment of spinal metastatic disease: a scoping literature review.

MacLean MA, Touchette CJ, Georgiopoulos M, Brunette-Clément T, Abduljabbar FH, Ames CP, Bettegowda C, Charest-Morin R, Dea N, Fehlings MG, Gokaslan ZL, Goodwin CR, Laufer I, Netzer C, Rhines LD, Sahgal A, Shin JH, Sciubba DM, Stephens BF, Fourney DR, Weber MH; AO Spine Knowledge Forum Tumor.

Lancet Oncol. 2022 Jul;23(7):e321-e333. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(22)00126-7.

PMID: 35772464

Posterior stabilization with polyetheretherketone (PEEK) rods and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) with titanium rods for single-level lumbar spine degenerative disease in patients above 70 years of age.

Kamenova M, Li E, Soleman J, Fiebig O, Mehrkens A, Schaeren S.

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2022 May 5. doi: 10.1007/s00402-022-04448-8. Online ahead of print.

PMID: 35511354


Localization of Nerve Growth Factor Expression to Structurally Damaged Cartilaginous Tissues in Human Lumbar Facet Joint Osteoarthritis.

Seidel MF, Netzer C, Chobaz V, Hügle T, Geurts J.

Front Immunol. 2022 Mar 1;13:783076. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.783076. eCollection 2022.

PMID: 35300334

Spheroid-Based Tissue Engineering Strategies for Regeneration of the Intervertebral Disc.

Kasamkattil J, Gryadunova A, Martin I, Barbero A, Schären S, Krupkova O, Mehrkens A.

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Feb 25;23(5):2530. doi: 10.3390/ijms23052530.

PMID: 35269672

Radiographic study of peak velocity of pelvic incidence in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Zhang Y, Shu S, Gu Q, Mandelli F, Zhang T, Jing W, Qiu Y, Zhu Z, Bao H.

Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2022 Feb;12(2):1130-1138. doi: 10.21037/qims-21-391.

PMID: 35111610

Association between fat infiltration of paraspinal muscle, sagittal pelvic alignment and stenosis grade in patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis

Zhang Y , Mandelli F, Mündermann A, Nüesch C, Kovacs B, Schären S, Netzer C.North Am Spine Soc J 2021, 5:100054. link

Cross-cultural adaptation of the spine oncology-specific SOSGOQ2 questionnaire to German language and the assessment of its validity and reliability in the clinical setting"

Datzmann T, Kisel W, Kramer J, Dreimann M, Müller-Broich J D, Netzer C, Schaser KD, Schmitt J, Disch A C, Tumor Study Group, Spine Section of the German Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeons (DGOU)BMC Cancer 06.07.2021 DOI: 10.1186/s12885-021-08578-x Link

Assessing fatty infiltration of paraspinal muscles in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis: Goutallier classification and quantitative MRI measurements

Mandelli F, Nüesch C, Zhang Y, Halbeisen F, Schären S, Mündermann A, Netzer C.Frontiers in Neurology 2021 September Pubmed Link

Nose to Spine: spheroids generated by human nasal chondrocytes for scaffold-free nucleus pulposus augmentation.

Gryadunova A, Kasamkattil J, Gay MHP, Dasen B, Pelttari K, Mironov V, Martin I, Schären S, Barbero A, Krupkova O, Mehrkens A.Acta Biomater. 2021 Jul 31:S1742-7061(21)00502-X. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2021.07.064. Pubmed Link

Intradural extraarachnoid sutureless technique combined with laminoplasty for indirect repair of ventral dural defects in spontaneous intracranial hypotension: technical note and case series

Kamenova M, Schaeren S, Wasner M-GActaNeurochir (Vienna). 2021 Sep;163(9):2551-2556. doi: 10.1007/s00701-021-04868-2. Epub 2021 May 8. pubmed link

Severity of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis affects pelvic rigidity during walking

Bumann H, Nüesch C, Loske S, Byrnes K, Kovacs B, Janssen R, Schären S, Mündermann A, NetzerCSpine J 2020 January, 20:112-120. pubmed link

Novel patient-specific 3D-virtual reality visualization software (SpectoVR) for the planning of spine surgery: a case series of eight patients

Croci DM, Guzman R, Netzer C, Mariani L, Schaeren S, Cattin PC; JostGBMJ Innovations 2020 6 (4) Link

Parvimonas micra as a rare cause of spondylodiscitis - case series from a single center

Durovic A, Eberhard N, Schären S, Widmer AF.Swiss Med Wkly. 2020 Jun 16;150:w20272. doi: 10.4414/smw.2020.20272. PMID: 32579699. Pubmed Link

Nose to back: compatibility of nasal chondrocytes with environmental conditions mimicking a degenerated intervertebral disc

Gay MH, Mehrkens A, Rittmann M, Haug M, Barbero A, Martin I, Schaeren S.Eur Cell Mater. 2019 Mar 22;37:214-232. pubmed link

Inertial measurement unit-assisted implantation of pedicle screws in combination with an intraoperative 3-dimensional/2-dimensional visualization of the spine

Jost GF, Walti J, Mariani L, Schaeren S, Cattin P.Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2019 Mar 1;16(3):326-334. pubmed link

Direct oral anticoagulants in patients undergoing spine surgery

Croci DM, Dalolio M, Guzman R, Mariani L, Schaeren S, Kamenova M, Soleman J.World Neurosurg. 2019 Feb 15. pii: S1878-8750(19)30349-3. Pubmed Link

Outcome of spinal surgery in patients older than age 90 years

Rychen J, Stricker S, Mariani L, Schaeren S, Jost GF.World Neurosurg. 2019 Mar;123:e457-e464. pubmed link

Direct Oral Anticoagulants in Patients Undergoing Spine Surgery.

Croci DM, Dalolio M, Guzman R, Mariani L, Schaeren S, Kamenova M and Soleman J.World Neurosurg. 2019 May;125:e1034-e1041. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.01.236. Epub 2019 Feb 15. PMID: 30776515 Pubmed Link

Decompression surgery improves gait quality in patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis

Loske S, Nüesch C, Byrnes KS, Fiebig O, Schären S, Mündermann A, Netzer C.Spine J. 2018 Dec;18(12):2195-2204. pubmed link

Novel ex vivo human osteochondral explant model of knee and spine osteoarthritis enables assessment of inflammatory and drug treatment responses

Geurts J, Jurić D, Müller M, Schären S, Netzer C.Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Apr 28;19(5). pii: E1314. pubmed link

Comparative analysis of bone structural parameters reveals subchondral cortical plate resorption and increased trabecular bone remodeling in human facet joint osteoarthritis

Netzer C, Distel P, Wolfram U, Deyhle H, Jost GF, Schären S, Geurts J.Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Mar 14;19(3). pii: E845. pubmed link

Inertial sensor based gait and attractor analysis as clinical measurement tool: functionality/sensitivity in patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis and healthy subjects

Byrnes K, Nüesch C, Loske S, Schären S, Netzer C, Mündermann A.Frontiers Physiology 2018 August 9:1095. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01095. pubmed link

Minimum ten-year follow-up of spinal stenosis with degenerative spondylolisthesis treated with decompression and dynamic stabilization.

Veresciagina K, Mehrkens A, Schären S, Jeanneret B.J Spine Surg. 2018 Mar;4(1):93-101. doi: 10.21037/jss.2018.03.20. Pubmed Link

GEORG-SCHMORL-PRIZE OF THE GERMAN SPINE SOCIETY (DWG) 2016: Comparison of in vitro osteogenic potential of iliac crest and degenerative facet joint bone autografts for intervertebral fusion in lumbar spinal stenosis

Geurts J, Ramp D, Schären S, Netzer C.Eur Spine J. 2017 May;26(5):1408-1415. pubmed link

Inertial measurement unit-assisted implantation of thoracic, lumbar, and sacral pedicle screws improves precision of a freehand technique

Jost GF, Walti J, Mariani L, Schaeren S, Cattin P.World Neurosurg. 2017 Jul;103:11-18. pubmed link

Notochordal cell-derived conditioned medium protects human nucleus pulposus cells from stress-induced apoptosis

Mehrkens A, Matta A, Karim MZ, Kim S, Fehlings MG, Schaeren S, Mark Erwin W.Spine J. 2017 Apr;17(4):579-588. pubmed link

Characterization of subchondral bone histopathology of facet joint osteoarthritis in lumbar spinal stenosis

Netzer C, Urech K, Hügle T, Benz RM, Geurts J, Schären S.J Orthop Res. 2016 Aug;34(8):1475-80. pubmed link

Platelet concentrates in spine fusion: meta-analysis of union rates and complications in controlled trials

Vavken J, Vavken P, Mameghani A, Camathias C, Schaeren S.Eur Spine J. 2016 May;25(5):1474-1483. pubmed link

Complications and cancer rates in spine fusion with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2)

Vavken J, Mameghani A, Vavken P, Schaeren S.Eur Spine J. 2016 Dec;25(12):3979-3989. pubmed link

A novel approach to navigated implantation of S-2 alar iliac screws using inertial measurement units

Jost GF, Walti J, Mariani L, Cattin P.J Neurosurg Spine. 2016 Mar;24(3):447-53. Pubmed Link

Management of Incidental Dural Tear During Lumbar Spine Surgery. To Suture or Not to Suture?

Kamenova M, Leu S, Mariani L, Schaeren S, Soleman J.World Neurosurg. 2016 Mar;87:455-62. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2015.11.045. Epub 2015 Dec 14. pubmed link

Preoperative and Postoperative Factors and Laboratory Values Predicting Outcome in Patients Undergoing Lumbar Fusion Surgery.

Leu S, Kamenova M, Mehrkens A, Mariani L, Schären S, Soleman J.World Neurosurg. 2016 Aug;92:323-338. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2016.05.011. Epub 2016 May 13. PMID: 27184898 Pubmed Link