Carlo Bellabarba, M.D.

Carlo Bellabarba, M.D.

Acting Chief of Service, Orthopaedics, Harborview Medical Center
Director, Spine Service
Program Director, Spine Fellowship

Specialties: Spine, Trauma

College: B.Sc. with Honours in Biochemistry, McGill University, 1988

Medical School: McGill University, 1992

Residency: Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center 1993-1997

Fellowship: Northwestern University, Spine Surgery, 1998-1999
Tampa General Hospital, Orthopedic Trauma, 1997-1998

Board Certification: Board Certified

UW Medicine Bio:

About Dr. Bellabarba

Dr. Carlo Bellabarba is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.  Following his training in Orthopedic Surgery at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois he completed a Trauma Fellowship at Tampa General Hospital and then a Spine Fellowship at Northwestern University. He is currently a Professor at University of Washington in the Orthopedics and Neurosurgery departments. 

He is the Director of the Spine ACE Program at Harborview Medical Center and is on the HMC Medical Staff Quality Assurance Committee, and Medical School Admissions Committee at University of Washington. He is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Orthopedic Trauma and has presented at numerous medical meetings. Dr. Bellabarba has published several articles and book chapters.


  • 2014 Top Doctors, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, August 2014
  • 2014 Top Doctors, Seattle Magazine, June 2014
  • 2012 Top Doctors, Seattle Magazine, July 2012


  • American Medical Association
  • American Orthopedic Association
  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • American Spinal Injury Association
  • Cervical Spine Research Society
  • North American Spine Society
  • Orthopedic Trauma Association
  • Society of Military Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Western Orthopedic Association
  • Washington State Orthopedic Association
  • Washington State Medical Association
  • Spine Faculty, AO/ASIF Continuing Education
  • Orthopedic Faculty, AO/ASIF Continuing Education

AAOS Disclosures

Submitted on: 10/17/2014
Cervical Spine Research Society: Board or committee member
North American Spine Society: Board or committee member


Scientific Publications (PubMed Listing)

Recent articles:
1. Schildhauer TA, Bellabarba C, Nork SE, Barei DP, Routt MLC, Chapman JR: Decompression and Lumbopelvic Fixation for High Grade Sacral Fracture-Dislocations with Spino-Pelvic Dissociation, J Orthop Trauma 20:447-457, 2006.

2. Bellabarba C, Mirza SK, West GA, Mann FA, Dailey AT, Newell DW, Chapman JR: Diagnosis and Treatment of Craniocervical Dissociation. One Institution?s Experience with 17 Consecutive Survivors over Eight Years. J Neurosurg Spine 4:429-440, 2006.

3. Bransford R, Bellabarba C, Thompson JH, Henley MB, Mirza SK, Chapman JR: The safety of fluoroscopically-assisted thoracic pedicle screw instrumentation for fracture stabilization. J Trauma 60(5):1047-1052, 2006.

4. Bellabarba C, Schildhauer TA, Vaccaro AR, Chapman JR: Complications associated with Surgical Stabilization of High-Grade Sacral Fracture-Dislocations with Spino-Pelvic Instability. Spine 31(11S):S80-88, 2006.

5. Bellabarba C, Ricci WM, Bolhofner BR: Distraction External Fixation in Lateral Compression Pelvic Fractures. J Orthop Trauma 20(1 Suppl):S7-S14, 2006

Recent chapters:

1. Bellabarba C, Elgafy H: Mechanisms of Injury in the Sacral Spine: Concepts, Pathomechanics, Classifications, Instability and Clinical Applications. Pediatric and Adult Spine Trauma. Kim DH, Ludwig SC, Vaccaro AR eds. Elsevier Press, Philadelphia PA.

2. Bellabarba C: Spine Trauma. Trauma Core Knowledge in Orthopaedics Series. Sanders RW ed. Elsevier Press, Philadelphia PA.

3. Bellabarba C, Chapman JR - Odontoid Screw Insertion. Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Bono CM and Vaccaro AR eds. Marcel-Dekker, New York, NY. Ch. 15.

4. Bellabarba C, Mirza SK, Chapman JR: Injuries to the Cervicocranium. Surgical Treatment of Orthopaedic Trauma. Stannard J, Kregor P and Schmidt A - eds. Thieme, New York NY.

5. Bellabarba C, Barei DP, Sanders RW: Dislocations of the Foot. Surgery of the Foot and Ankle (8th ed.). Mann RA and Coughlin MJ - eds, C.V. Mosby, St. Louis.

6. Bellabarba C, Anderson PA: Injuries of the Lower Cervical Spine. Rothman-Simeone The Spine, 5 ed. Herkowitz HN, Garfin SR, Eismont FJ, Bell GR, Balderston RA eds. Elsevier Press, Philadelphia PA. Ch. 68, pp 1100 - 1131, 2006.

7. McHenry T, Bellabarba C, Chapman JR: Sacral Fractures. Rothman-Simeone The Spine, 5 ed. Herkowitz HN, Garfin SR, Eismont FJ, Bell GR, Balderston RA eds. Elsevier Press, Philadelphia PA. Ch 71. pp 1172 - 1184, 2006.

8. Bellabarba C, Mirza SK, Chapman JR: Injuries to the Craniocervical Junction. Rockwood & Green, Fractures in Adults, 6 ed. Bucholz RW, Heckman JD, Court-Brown CM eds. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia PA. Chapter 38, pp 1435 - 1496, 2006.

9. Mirza SK, Bellabarba C, Chapman JR: Principles of Spine Trauma Care. Rockwood & Green, Fractures in Adults, 6 ed. Bucholz RW, Heckman JD, Court-Brown CM eds. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia PA. Chapter 37, pp 1401 - 1434, 2006.

10. Bellabarba C, McHenry T, Chapman JR: Lumbosacral Trauma. Orthopaedic Knowledge Update Trauma, 3 ed., Baumgartner M, Tornetta P eds. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont IL. Chapter 29, pp 337 - 347, 2005.


Spine Summit in Seattle 2012

Lumbo-Pelvic Reconstructions

Tumor disease or serious injuries to the junction of the lower back and the pelvis pose major challenges to orthopaedic surgeons in terms of reestablishing normal anatomy for patients. Until recently there were no predictable methods to reestablish a mechanically sound and lasting junction of this major skeletal intersection. Dr. Darin Davidson is an Orthopaedic Oncologist (Tumor and Cancer) specialist and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at the UW Medical Center. He discusses assessment and therapeutic approaches towards surgical treatment of skeletal tumors in this critical and complex area. Dr. Carlo Bellabarba, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine and Chief of Spine Service and Joint Professor of Neurological Surgery at Harborview Medical Center follows with a presentation on a technique referred to as 'lumbo-pelvic fixation'. This procedure allows for unprecedented reconstruction options and the substantial experience gained at Harborview Medical Center with the development of this technique.