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 School

  • Tufts University School of Medicine , 1971 , Boston , MA


  • Case Western Reserve University Hospitals , 1972 , Cleveland , OH


  • New England Medical Center , 1979 , Boston , MA


  • Boston Children's Hospital , 1981 , Boston , MA

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.


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.


  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, General Orthopaedics


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Cohen LL, Schwend RM, Flynn JM, Hedequist DJ, Karlin LI, Emans JB, Snyder BD, Hresko MT, Anderson JT, Leamon J, Talwar D, Glotzbecker MP. Why Irrigate for the Same Contamination Rate: Wound Contamination in Pediatric Spinal Surgery Using Betadine Versus Saline. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Nov/Dec; 40(10):e994-e998. View abstract
  2. Cohen LL, Yang BW, Glotzbecker MP, Emans JB, Karlin LI, Snyder BD, Hresko MT, Hedequist DJ. Occipital Plate Fixation in the Pediatric Population. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Oct; 40(9):462-467. View abstract
  3. Karlin LI, McClung A, Johnston CE, Samdani A, Hresko MT, Perez-Grueso FJ, Troy M. The growth-friendly surgical treatment of scoliosis in children with osteogenesis imperfecta using distraction-based instrumentation. Spine Deform. 2020 Sep 12. View abstract
  4. O'Neill NP, Hresko MT, Emans JB, Glotzbecker MP, Verhofste BP, Karlin LI, Proctor MR, Hedequist DJ. Acute Implant-related Complications in Pediatric Cervical Spine Fusion. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Aug; 40(7):e662-e666. View abstract
  5. Verhofste BP, Whitaker AT, Glotzbecker MP, Miller PE, Karlin LI, Hedequist DJ, Emans JB, Hresko MT. Efficacy of bracing in skeletally immature patients with moderate-severe idiopathic scoliosis curves between 40° and 60°. Spine Deform. 2020 10; 8(5):911-920. View abstract
  6. Cohen LL, Shore BJ, Williams KA, Hedequist DJ, Hresko MT, Emans JB, Karlin LI, Snyder BD, Glotzbecker MP. Diagnosing and treating native spinal and pelvic osteomyelitis in adolescents. Spine Deform. 2020 10; 8(5):1001-1008. View abstract
  7. Hogue G, DeWitt L, Grzywna A, Hresko MT, Hedequist D, Karlin L, Emans J, Le H, Miller P, Glotzbecker M. Does bracing for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis affect operative results? Spine Deform. 2020 06; 8(3):427-432. View abstract
  8. Verhofste BP, Glotzbecker MP, Hresko MT, MacDougall RD, Birch CM, O'Neill NP, Karlin LI, Emans JB, Proctor MR, Hedequist DJ. Intraoperative Use of O-arm in Pediatric Cervical Spine Surgery. J Pediatr Orthop. 2020 Apr; 40(4):e266-e271. View abstract
  9. Verhofste BP, Davis EA, Miller PE, Hresko MT, Emans JB, Karlin LI, Hedequist DJ, Snyder BD, Smith ER, Proctor MR, Glotzbecker MP. Chiari I malformations with syringomyelia: long-term results of neurosurgical decompression. Spine Deform. 2020 04; 8(2):233-243. View abstract
  10. Deckey DG, Kalish LA, Hedequist D, Emans J, Proctor M, Glotzbecker M, Karlin L, Snyder B, Hresko MT. Surgical Treatment of Developmental Spondylolisthesis: Contemporary Series With a Two-Surgeon Team. Spine Deform. 2019 Mar; 7(2):275-285. View abstract
  11. Verhofste B, Hresko T, Emans J, Glotzbecker M, Snyder B, Birch C, O'Neill N, Karlin L, Proctor M, Hedequist D. Halo-Gravity Traction for the Treatment of Cervical Spine Disorders. Spine Deform. 2019 Nov; 7(6):1026-1027. View abstract
  12. Verhofste BP, Glotzbecker MP, Hresko MT, Miller PE, Birch CM, Troy MJ, Karlin LI, Emans JB, Proctor MR, Hedequist DJ. Perioperative acute neurological deficits in instrumented pediatric cervical spine fusions. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2019 Aug 16; 1-11. View abstract
  13. Margalit A, Sponseller PD, McCarthy RE, Pawelek JB, McCullough L, Karlin LI, Shirley ED, Schwend RM, Samdani AF, Akbarnia BA. Growth-Friendly Spine Surgery in Escobar Syndrome. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019 Aug; 39(7):e506-e513. View abstract
  14. Deckey DG, Kalish LA, Hedequist D, Emans J, Proctor M, Glotzbecker M, Karlin L, Snyder B, Hresko MT. Surgical Treatment of Developmental Spondylolisthesis: Contemporary Series With a Two-Surgeon Team. Spine Deform. 2019 03; 7(2):275-285. View abstract
  15. Grzywna A, McClung A, Sanders J, Sturm P, Karlin L, Glotzbecker M. Survey to describe variability in early onset scoliosis cast practices. J Child Orthop. 2018 Aug 01; 12(4):406-412. View abstract
  16. 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. View abstract
  17. 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. View abstract
  18. 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. View abstract
  19. 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. View abstract
  20. 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. View abstract
  21. 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. View abstract
  22. 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. View abstract
  23. 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. View abstract
  24. Li Y, Gold M, Karlin L. Proximal Junctional Kyphosis After Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib Insertion. Spine Deform. 2013 Nov; 1(6):425-433. View abstract
  25. 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. View abstract
  26. 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. View abstract
  27. 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. View abstract
  28. 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. View abstract
  29. 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. View abstract
  30. 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. View abstract
  31. 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. View abstract
  32. 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. View abstract
  33. Mahan ST, Mooney DP, Karlin LI, Hresko MT. Multiple level injuries in pediatric spinal trauma. J Trauma. 2009 Sep; 67(3):537-42. View abstract
  34. Karlin LI. Kyphectomy for myelodysplasia. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2007 Apr; 18(2):357-64. View abstract
  35. 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. View abstract
  36. Sadeghi-Nejad A, Karlin LI. A provisionally unique syndrome of macrosomia, bone overgrowth, macrocephaly, and tall stature. . 2005 May 01; 134(4):443-6. View abstract
  37. Katz DA, Karlin LI. Visual field defect after posterior spine fusion. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2005 Feb 01; 30(3):E83-5. View abstract
  38. 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. View abstract
  39. 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. View abstract
  40. 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. View abstract
  41. 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. View abstract
  42. 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. View abstract
  43. 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. View abstract
  44. Karlin LI. Advances in pediatric orthopaedics. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 1991 Oct; 3(5):854-9. View abstract
  45. Scott RM, Wolpert SM, Bartoshesky LE, Zimbler S, Karlin L. Segmental spinal dysgenesis. Neurosurgery. 1988 Apr; 22(4):739-44. View abstract