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William James Richardson

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Orthopaedic Surgery
Box 3077 Med Ctr, Durham, NC 27710
5340 Duke South, Orange Zone, Durham, NC 27710
Office hours 7:30am-4:00pm  


1. Current research includes investigation of biomechanical aspects of cervical injury with head impact. This involves cadaveric work with high-speed photography and load cells to ascertain the mechanism for spinal fractures.

2. An animal model is being used to evaluate the biomechanics of cervical laminectomy versus laminoplasty compared to the normal spine. A portion of the animals are developing myelopathy secondary to instability after the surgical procedure and this is being evaluated with MRI scanning as well as mechanical and radiographic testing.

3. Studies are being performed to develop an impedance pedicle probe to aid safe insertion of pedicular instrumentation in the lumbar spine. Ongoing studies are being performed to define the optimal frequency for the probe to yield the most sensitive and specific device. Hopefully this will lead to development of a device for human use. Studies will compare impedance probe to currently used EMG techniques to see if combing them will lead to greater sensitivity and specificity.

4. Studies are being completed on testing particular pull-out strength and doing a multi-varied analysis looking at size of the pedicle and bone density by two different techniques.

5. Current work is ongoing to develop an outcomes instrument and database to be used in the outpatient setting for patients with spinal complaints, both cervical and lumbar. The device will be used to evaluate clinical effectiveness for a variety of treatments for spinal conditions and to look at patient satisfaction issues.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery · 2004 - Present Orthopaedic Surgery, Clinical Science Departments
Professor in Neurosurgery · 2017 - Present Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery
Affiliate, Duke Global Health Institute · 2010 - Present Duke Global Health Institute, University Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

Eastern Virginia Medical School · 1977 M.D.