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Professor Brian Freeman - Orthopaedics SA

Prof. Brian J C Freeman

MB, Bch, BAO, DM (Nottm), FRCS (Tr & Orth), FRACS (Ortho), FAOrthA Orthopaedic Surgeon

Prof. Brian J C Freeman

MB, Bch, BAO, DM (Nottm), FRCS (Tr & Orth), FRACS (Ortho), FAOrthA Orthopaedic Surgeon

Professor Brian Freeman is an Orthopaedic Surgeon with a major interest in both Paediatric and Adult Spinal Surgery.

Specialising in
  • Paediatrics
  • Spine
Professor Brian Freeman public practice is shared between the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Women and Children’s Hospital. His private practice is conducted at Orthopaedics SA with admitting / clinical privileges at St Andrew’s Hospital and Memorial Hospital.

Professor Freeman graduated from medical school in 1988 and pursued higher surgical training in Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, obtaining Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1997 and Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2010. He completed two internationally recognised Fellowships in Spinal Surgery; The British Orthopaedic Association National Fellowship in Spinal Surgery (12 months, 1998-1999) Nottingham, UK and The Clinical/Research Fellowship in Spinal Surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia (12 months 1999-2000). Research conducted during this Fellowship (2000) led to the award of Doctorate of Medicine to Professor Freeman from the University of Nottingham, UK (2006).

Specialising in

  • Paediatrics Spine

Consulting / Operating Locations

Additional Information

Professor Freeman has been in continuous clinical practice as a Spinal Consultant for 16 years. He commenced as Consultant Spinal Surgeon at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK in 2000. In 2007, he was awarded the position of Special Professor of Spinal Surgery by the University of Nottingham, UK (2007-2010). In 2008 he was appointed Head of Spinal Services at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Professor of Spinal Surgery at University of Adelaide (2008-present). He was appointed Research Director at the Adelaide Centre for Spinal Research in 2012 and Co-director of the Centre for Orthopaedic and Trauma Research, University of Adelaide in 2012.

Professor Freeman has been awarded 37 national and international prizes for his research and teaching including:

  • 2007
    International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
    ISSLS Prize in Clinical Studies
  • 2009
    International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
    ISSLS Prize in Basic Science/Biomechanics
  • 2016
    International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
    ISSLS Prize in Clinical Studies
  • 2012
    North American Spine Society / The Spine Journal
    Outstanding Paper Award in Surgical Science (Runner Up)
  • 2009
    Spine Society of Australia, Spinal Research Award
  • 2013
    Spine Society of Australia, Spinal Research Award
  • 2015
    Spine Society of Australia, Spinal Research Award

Professor Freeman has published 86 peer-reviewed original publications, 19 book chapters, 151 published abstracts from 217 podium presentations and 96 poster presentations to national and international meetings.

  • Costi J J, Freeman B J C, Elliott D M. Intervertebral disc properties; Challenges for biodevices. Expert Reviews of Medical Devices. 2011; 8: 3: 357-376. PMID: 21542708
  • Freeman B J. The role of lumbar disc replacement in the surgical management of low back pain. British Journal of Hospital Medicine (Lond) 2012 Jan; 73 (1): 38-43. PMID: 22241408.
  • Colloca C J, Gunzburg R, Freeman B J C, Szplaski M, Afifi M, Moore R J. Biomechanical quantification of pathologic manipulable spinal lesions: An in-vivo ovine model of spondylolysis and intervertebral disc degeneration. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.2012 Jun; 35 (5); 354-366. PMID: 22657392
  • Selby M D, Clark S R, Hall D J, Freeman B J C. Radiological assessment of spinal fusion. Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2012; 20: 11: 694-703. PMID: 23118135
  • Meir AR, Freeman B J C, Fraser R D, Fowler SM. 2012 Outstanding Paper Surgical Science Runner Up. Ten-year survival and clinical outcome of the AcroFlex lumbar disc replacement for the treatment of symptomatic disc degeneration. The Spine Journal. 2013 Jan; 13 (1): 13-21. PMID: 23384880
  • Alexander W M, Smith M, Freeman B J, Sutherland L M, Kennedy J D, Cundy P J. The effect of posterior spinal fusion on respiratory function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. European Spine Journal. 2013 Feb; 22 (2): 411-6. PMID: 23179984
  • Cundy T P, Antoniou G, Sutherland L M, Freeman B J C, Cundy P J. Serum Titanium, Niobium, and Aluminium Levels after Instrumented Spinal Arthrodesis in Children. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2013; 38: 7: 564-570. PMID: 2299626
  • Freeman B J C, Ludbrook G, Hall S, Cousins M, Mitchell B, Jaros M, Wyand M Gorman J. A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Transforaminal Epidural (TNF inhibitor) for the Treatment of Symptomatic Lumbar Disc Herniation. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2013; 38: 23: 1986-1994. PMID: 24165696
  • Humadi A, Freeman B J C, Moore R J, Callary S, Halldin K, David V, Maclaurin W, Tauro P, Schoenwaelder M. A comparison of radio-stereometric analysis (RSA) and computed tomography (CT) for the assessment of lumbar spinal fusion in a sheep model. Evidence-Based Spine-Care Journal 2013: 4: 78-89. PMID: 24436705
  • Cundy T P, Cundy W J, Antoniou G, Sutherland L M, Freeman B J C, Cundy P J. Serum titanium, niobium, and aluminium levels two years following instrumented spinal fusion: Does implant surface area predict serum metal ion levels? European Spine Journal 2014 Nov; 23 (11): 2393-2400. PMID: 24659389
  • Cundy W J, Mascarenhas A R, Antoniou G, Freeman B J C, Cundy P J.Local and systemic metal ion release occurs intra-operatively during correction and instrumented spinal fusion for scoliosis. Journal of Children’s Orthopaedics 2015 Feb; 9 (1); 39-43. doi: 10.1007/s11832-015-0631-6. PMID: 25589286
  • van Middendorp JJ, Cheung I, Dalzell K, Deverall H, Freeman B J C, Morris S, Sandler S, Williams R, Yau Y H, Goss B. Detecting facet joint and lateral mass injuries of the sub-axial cervical spine in major trauma patients. Asian Spine Journal 2015 Jun; 9 (3): 327-37. doi: 10.4184/asj.2015.9.3.327. PMID: 26097647
  • Battistuzzo C R, Armstrong A, Clark J, Worley L, Sharwood L, Lin P, Rooke G, Skeers P, Nolan S, Geraghty T, Nunn A, Brown D, Hill S, Alexander J, Millard M, Cox S, Rao S, Watts A, Goods L, Allison G, Laurenson J, Cameron P, Mosley I, Liew S, Geddes T, Middleton J, Buchanan J, Rosenfeld J, Bernard S, Atresh S, Patel A, Shouten R, Freeman B J C, Dunlop S A, Batchelor P E. Early decompression following cervical spinal cord injury: Examining the process of care from accident scene to surgery. Journal of Neurotrauma 2015 Dec 9 [Epub ahead of Print] PMID: 26650510
  • Tomkins-Lane C C, Melloh M, Lurie J, Smuck M, Freeman B J C, Samartzis D, Hu R, Barz T, Stuber K, Schneider M, Haig A, Schizas C, Cheung J, Mannion AF, Staub L,Comer C, Macedo L, Ahn S, Takahashi K, Sandella D. 2016 ISSLS Prize in Clinical Studies: Consensus on the clinical diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis: Results of an International Delphi Study. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2016 Feb 1 [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26839989
  • Freeman B J C, Kuliwaba J S, Jones C F, Shu C C, Colloca C J, Zarrinkalam M R, Mulaibrahimovic A, Gronthos S, Zannettino A C, Howell S. Allogeneic Mesenchymal Stem Cells Promote Healing in Postero-Lateral Annular Lesions and Improve Indices of Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Degeneration in an Ovine Model. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 2016 Feb 23. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26913464
  • Szpalski M, Gunzburg R, Colloca C J, Kosmopoulos V, Hegazy M A, Freeman B J C, Fabeck L. Restoring lumbar spine stiffness using an interspinous implant in an ovine model of instability. Clinical Biomechanics 2016 Feb 24: Vol 33: pp 85-91 doi: 10.1016 PMID: 26963708
  • Battistuzzo C R, Smith K, Skeers P, Armstrong A, Clark J, Laurenson J, Cox S, Bernard S, Freeman B J C, Dunlop S A, Batchelor P E. Early rapid neurological assessment for acute spinal cord injury trials. Journal of Neurotrauma 2016 Apr 18 [Epub ahead of Print] PMID: 27091217

Professor Freeman has supervised to completion: two candidates for Bachelor of Medical Science, two candidates for Master of Surgery and three candidates for Doctorate of Medicine. He is currently supervising 4 PhD candidates. He has acted as External Examiner for the Australian National University (PhD), the University of Capetown (Masters) and the University of Queensland (Masters).

In the last 5 years, Professor Freeman has been supported by AUD $3.2 million from peer review funding bodies including; National Health and Medical Research Council ($581,561), Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research ($971,000), Conquer Paralysis Now ($99,588), Lifetime Support Authority South Australia ($249,928).

  • International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
    Executive Committee Member / Regional Representative Great Britain 2002-2007
    Instructional Course Chairman 2005-2008
    Fellowship Committee Member 2012-2014
    Program Committee Ad Hoc Reviewer 2013-2014
    Fellowship Committee Chairman 2014-2015
  • AO Spine Australia / New Zealand Council
    Member at Large February 2009
    Elected Chairman AOSpine Australia / New Zealand
    Term 4 years commencing 1 August 2010 to 31 July 2014
  • Clinical Trials Committee, Spinal Cord Injury Network, Australia and New Zealand
    Committee Member 2012-2015
    Chairman (appointed 11 December 2015, Term 2 Years)
  • Spine Society of Australia
    Member since April 2008
    Scientific Secretary (appointed 9 April 2016, Term 3 Years)
  • Paediatric Spinal Deformity (Scoliosis and Kyphosis)
  • Adult Spinal Deformity
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Spinal Tumours
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Degenerative Conditions (Cervical and Lumbar Spine)