Lawrence Karlin

Lawrence Ira Karlin, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon

Assistant Professor in Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School

"Over my 35 years of practice, I have been involved in the development of innovative new technology, but my primary goal is to provide the best and most personal care for his patients. Most of my pride comes from this accomplishment."

Medical Services


  • Complex Spine
  • Orthopedics
  • Lordosis
  • Morquio Syndrome
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Deformity
  • Spondylosis
  • Trauma


  • Orthopedic Center
  • Orthopedic Surgery


  • English


  • General Orthopedic Program
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome Specialty Program
  • Neuromotor Therapy Program
  • Orthopedic Trauma Program
  • Spinal Program
To schedule an appointment: Call 617-355-6021 or Request an Appointment
Lawrence Karlin

Philosophy of Care 

Over my 35 years of practice, I have been involved in the development of innovative new technology, but my primary goal is to provide the best and most personal care for his patients. Most of my pride comes from this accomplishment. My efforts have been recognized by rewards such as Compassionate Physician, Best Doctors, Vitals Patient Choice and Boston Magazine’s Best Doctors of Boston and, most importantly, by the many families with whom I have developed a long and warm relationship.

Experience and Education


Medical School

Tufts University School of Medicine, 1971

Boston, Massachusetts


Case Western Reserve University Hospitals, 1971-1972

Cleveland, OH


New England Medical Center, 1976-1979

Boston, MA


Boston Children's Hospital, 1981

Boston, MA


Professional History

Dr. Lawrence Karlin is a senior orthopedic surgeon at Boston Children’s and the orthopedic consultant to our Center for Spina Bifida.  He specializes in spinal deformities and the orthopedic conditions associated with spina bifida. He has published over 50 scientific papers and book chapters, and is a member of many orthopedic organizations including the American Orthopaedic Association (AOAS), the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the Growing Spine Study Group (GSSG) and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA). He has held leadership roles in the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) and has been a national and international visiting professor.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles
  1. Murphy RF, Emans JB, Troy M, Miller PE, Hresko MT, Karlin LI, Hedequist DJ, Glotzbecker MP. Sagittal plane parameters in growing rod patients following final fusion. J Pediatr Orthop B. 2018 Mar; 27(2):168-175.
  2. Gomez JA, Grzywna A, Hanstein R, Emans JB, Hresko MT, Hedequist D, Karlin LI, Glotzbecker MP. Staged Growing Rods With Preimplantation of Spinal Anchors for Complex Early Onset Scoliosis. J Pediatr Orthop. 2017 Dec; 37(8):e606-e611.
  3. Gomez JA, Grzywna A, Miller PE, Karlin LI, Garg S, Sanders JO, Sturm PF, Sponseller PD, D'Astous JL, Glotzbecker MP. Initial Cast Correction as a Predictor of Treatment Outcome Success for Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis. J Pediatr Orthop. 2017 Dec; 37(8):e625-e630.
  4. Tobert DG, Glotzbecker MP, Hresko MT, Karlin LI, Proctor MR, Emans JB, Miller PE, Hedequist DJ. Efficacy of Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring for Pediatric Cervical Spine Surgery. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Jul 01; 42(13):974-978.
  5. Karlin L, Weinstock P, Hedequist D, Prabhu SP. The surgical treatment of spinal deformity in children with myelomeningocele: the role of personalized three-dimensional printed models. J Pediatr Orthop B. 2017 Jul; 26(4):375-382.
  6. Upasani VV, Hedequist DJ, Hresko MT, Karlin LI, Emans JB, Glotzbecker MP. Spinal deformity progression after posterior segmental instrumentation and fusion for idiopathic scoliosis. J Child Orthop. 2015 Feb; 9(1):29-37.
  7. Glotzbecker MP, Wasser AM, Hresko MT, Karlin LI, Emans JB, Hedequist DJ. Efficacy of nonfusion treatment for subacute and chronic atlanto-axial rotatory fixation in children. J Pediatr Orthop. 2014 Jul-Aug; 34(5):490-5.
  8. Spencer HT, Gold ME, Karlin LI, Hedequist DJ, Hresko MT. Gain in spinal height from surgical correction of idiopathic scoliosis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014 Jan 01; 96(1):59-65.
  9. Li Y, Gold M, Karlin L. Proximal Junctional Kyphosis After Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib Insertion. Spine Deform. 2013 Nov; 1(6):425-433.
  10. Vernacchio L, Trudell EK, Hresko MT, Karlin LI, Risko W. A quality improvement program to reduce unnecessary referrals for adolescent scoliosis. Pediatrics. 2013 Mar; 131(3):e912-20.
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  12. Bowen RE, Abel MF, Arlet V, Brown D, Burton DC, D'Ambra P, Gill L, Hoekstra DV, Karlin LI, Raso J, Sanders JO, Schwab FJ. Outcome assessment in neuromuscular spinal deformity. J Pediatr Orthop. 2012 Dec; 32(8):792-8.
  13. Tis JE, Karlin LI, Akbarnia BA, Blakemore LC, Thompson GH, McCarthy RE, Tello CA, Mendelow MJ, Southern EP. Early onset scoliosis: modern treatment and results. J Pediatr Orthop. 2012 Oct-Nov; 32(7):647-57.
  14. Spencer HT, Hsu JT, McDonald DR, Karlin LI. Intraoperative anaphylaxis to gelatin in topical hemostatic agents during anterior spinal fusion: a case report. Spine J. 2012 Aug; 12(8):e1-6.
  15. Jernigan SC, Berry JG, Graham DA, Bauer SB, Karlin LI, Hobbs NM, Scott RM, Warf BC. Risk factors of sudden death in young adult patients with myelomeningocele. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2012 Feb; 9(2):149-55.
  16. Kuisle AM, Gauguet S, Karlin LI, Dauber A, McCann ME. Postoperative adrenal crisis in an adolescent with Loeys-Dietz syndrome and undiagnosed adrenoleukodystrophy. Can J Anaesth. 2011 Apr; 58(4):392-5.
  17. Elsebai HB, Yazici M, Thompson GH, Emans JB, Skaggs DL, Crawford AH, Karlin LI, McCarthy RE, Poe-Kochert C, Kostial P, Akbarnia BA. Safety and efficacy of growing rod technique for pediatric congenital spinal deformities. J Pediatr Orthop. 2011 Jan-Feb; 31(1):1-5.
  18. Bess S, Akbarnia BA, Thompson GH, Sponseller PD, Shah SA, El Sebaie H, Boachie-Adjei O, Karlin LI, Canale S, Poe-Kochert C, Skaggs DL. Complications of growing-rod treatment for early-onset scoliosis: analysis of one hundred and forty patients. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010 Nov 03; 92(15):2533-43.
  19. Mahan ST, Mooney DP, Karlin LI, Hresko MT. Multiple level injuries in pediatric spinal trauma. J Trauma. 2009 Sep; 67(3):537-42.
  20. Karlin LI. Kyphectomy for myelodysplasia. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2007 Apr; 18(2):357-64.
  21. Kocher MS, Kasser JR, Waters PM, Bae D, Snyder BD, Hresko MT, Hedequist D, Karlin L, Kim YJ, Murray MM, Millis MB, Emans JB, Dichtel L, Matheney T, Lee BM. Lateral entry compared with medial and lateral entry pin fixation for completely displaced supracondylar humeral fractures in children. A randomized clinical trial. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007 Apr; 89(4):706-12.
  22. Sadeghi-Nejad A, Karlin LI. A provisionally unique syndrome of macrosomia, bone overgrowth, macrocephaly, and tall stature. Am J Med Genet A. 2005 May 01; 134(4):443-6.
  23. Katz DA, Karlin LI. Visual field defect after posterior spine fusion. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2005 Feb 01; 30(3):E83-5.
  24. Shannon EG, DiFazio R, Kasser J, Karlin L, Gerbino P. Waterproof casts for immobilization of children's fractures and sprains. J Pediatr Orthop. 2005 Jan-Feb; 25(1):56-9.
  25. Iobst CA, Hresko MT, Karlin LI, Hall JE. Postoperative shoulder-spine spica cast for young children. J Pediatr Orthop. 2004 Mar-Apr; 24(2):227-30.
  26. Lerman JA, Emans JB, Hall JE, Karlin LI. Spinal arthrodesis for scoliosis in Down syndrome. J Pediatr Orthop. 2003 Mar-Apr; 23(2):159-61.
  27. Soliman DE, Maslow AD, Bokesch PM, Strafford M, Karlin L, Rhodes J, Marx GR. Transoesophageal echocardiography during scoliosis repair: comparison with CVP monitoring. Can J Anaesth. 1998 Oct; 45(10):925-32.
  28. Cassidy C, Craig CL, Perry A, Karlin LI, Goldberg MJ. A reassessment of spinal stabilization in severe cerebral palsy. J Pediatr Orthop. 1994 Nov-Dec; 14(6):731-9.
  29. Jevsevar DS, Karlin LI. The relationship between preoperative nutritional status and complications after an operation for scoliosis in patients who have cerebral palsy. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1993 Jun; 75(6):880-4.
  30. Karlin LI. Advances in pediatric orthopaedics. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 1991 Oct; 3(5):854-9.
  31. Scott RM, Wolpert SM, Bartoshesky LE, Zimbler S, Karlin L. Segmental spinal dysgenesis. Neurosurgery. 1988 Apr; 22(4):739-44.
To schedule an appointment: Call 617-355-6021 or Request an Appointment


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