Robert M. Campbell, MD

Robert M. Campbell, MD

Robert M. Campbell Jr., MD, is Director of CHOP’s Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome and inventor of the VEPTR device to treat thoracic insufficiency syndrome.

Areas of Expertise: Chest wall and spine deformity, Congenital scoliosis, General pediatric orthopaedic surgery, Neuromuscular disease and chest wall disorders, Scoliosis and other disorders of the spine
Locations: Main Campus
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)


Dr. Campbell is Director of the Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (CTIS) and an Attending Physician in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

He is best known as the inventor of the VEPTR (Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib) device, which is used to treat rare diseases of the spine and chest wall, through surgical expansion of the chest and correction of spinal deformity, without inhibiting children’s growth.

He has published extensively on the thoracic and pulmonary disability of these patients and was the first to identify the disease Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome (TIS).

In creating the Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome, Dr. Campbell has assembled an interdisciplinary team, including surgeons, pulmonologists, nutritionists and others to bring a comprehensive approach to treatment of the disorder. His primary focus at CHOP is to expand the VEPTR program and explore new devices, deepen research into the natural history of TIS and develop further advances in treatment.

In addition to providing surgical care for TIS patients, Dr. Campbell treats routine pediatric orthopaedic conditions, such as scoliosis, developmental dysplasia of the hip and clubfoot.

Dr. Campbell obtained his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, and his medical degree from Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, DC. He completed an orthopedic residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Aurora, CO, and did his pediatric orthopedic fellowship at the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE.

Prior to coming to CHOP in 2009, he held the President’s Council Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC


Surgery - Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI


Orthopaedic Surgery - Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Denver, CO


Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery - Alfred I. DuPont Institute, Wilmington, DE

Board Certification

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS)

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Surgeon

Director, Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome

Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Conditions Treated

Departments and Services

Research Interests

Thoracic insufficiency syndrome
Vertical expandable titanium rib (VEPTR) implantation treatment
Congenital scoliosis




Mistovich RJ, Jacobs LJ, Campbell RM, Spiegel DA, Flynn JM, Baldwin KD. Infection control in pediatric spinal deformity surgery: A systematic and critical analysis review. JBJS Rev. 2017;5(5):e3.

Nossov SB, Curatolo E, Campbell RM, Mayer OH, Garg S, Cahill PJ. Children's Spine Study Group. VEPTR: Are we reducing respiratory assistance requirements? [Published online ahead of print April 10, 2017] J Pediatr Orthop.  

Tong Y, Udupa JK, Odhner D, Wu C, Zhao Y, McDonough JM, Capraro A, Torigian DA, Campbell RM. Interactive iterative relative fuzzy connectedness lung segmentation on thoracic 4D dynamic MR images. Proc. SPIE. Vol. 10137, Medical Imaging 2017: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural and Functional Imaging, 1013723 (13 March 2017).


Antiel RM, Riley JS, Cahill PJ, Campbell RM, Waqar L, Herkert LM, Rintoul NE, Peranteau WH, Flake AW, Adzick NS, Hedrick HL. Management and outcomes of scoliosis in children with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. J Pediatr Surg. 2016;51(12):1921-1925. 


O'Brien A, Roth MK, Athreya H, Reinker K, Koeck W, Patil V, Trevino H, Simmons J, Joshi AP, Smith MD,Campbell RM. Management of Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome in Patients With Jeune Syndrome Using the 70 mm Radius Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib. J Pediatr Orthop. 2015 Dec;35(8):783-97.

Peters, JR; Chandrasekaran, C; Robinson, LF; Servaes, SE; Campbell, RM Jr; Balasubramanian, S.: Expansion thoracoplasty for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome associated with Jarcho-Levin Syndrome. The Journal of bone and joint surgery 5(2): 12, June 2015.

jeya P. Joshi, MD; Megan K. Roth, PhD; James W. Simmons, DO, PhD, MBA; Felix Shardonofsky, MD; Robert M. Campbell Jr., MD

Peters JR, Chandrasekaran C, Robinson LF, Servaes SE, Campbell RM Jr, Balasubramanian S: Age and Gender Related Changes in Pediatric Thoracic Vertebral Morphology. Spine Journal May 2015.


Harris JA, Mayer OH, Shah SA, Campbell RM Jr, Balasubramanian S: A Comprehensive Review of Thoracic Deformity Parameters in Scoliosis. European Spine Journal 23(12), December 2014.

Karlin JG, Roth MK, Patil V, Cordell D, Trevino H, Simmons J, Campbell RM, Joshi AP: Management of Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome in Patients With Jarcho-Levin Syndrome Using VEPTRs  American Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 96(21), November 2014.

Sheha ED, Hammouri Q, Snyder BD, Campbell RM Jr, Vitale MG: Off-Label Use of Pediatric Orthopaedic Devices: Important Issues for the Future. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 96(3), February 2014.



Campbell RM. VEPTR Expansion Thoracoplasty. In: Akbarnia B, Yazici M, Thompson G, editors. "The Growing Spine: Management of Spinal Disorders in Young Children." Springer, p. 469-486, 2011.


Campbell RM. VEPTR. In: Kocher MS, Millis MB, editors. Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery. Elsevier, 2010.

Akbarnia B, Blakemore L, Campbell R, Dormans J. Instructional Course Lecture: Approaches to the Very Young Child with Spinal Deformity: What's New and What Works. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. O'Connor M, Egol K, editors. AAOS, 59, 2010.2009

Campbell RM. VEPTR Expansion Thoracoplasty. In: Vaccaro AR, Albert TJ, editors. Spine Surgery, Tricks of the Trade. New York: Thieme Medical Publishers; 2009.


Campbell RM. Rib Expansion Technique for Congenital Scoliosis, In: Vaccaro AR, Albert TJ, editors. Spine Surgery: Tricks of the Trade. New York: Thieme, 2nd ed.; 2008. p. 196-200. 


Campbell RM. Operative strategies for thoracic insufficiency syndrome by vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib expansion thoracoplasty. Operative techniques in orthopaedics. Vol 15: 315-325. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Williams; 2005.


Campbell RM. Fractures, elbow. In: Stockman III A, Lohr JA, editors. Essence of office pediatrics. Pg 153. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2001.

Campbell RM. Child abuse. In: Beaty J, Kasser J, editors. Fractures in children. Philadelphia: Lippincott; 2001.


Campbell RM. Congenital scoliosis due to multiple vertebral anomalies associated with thoracic insufficiency syndrome. In:  Drummond DS, editor. SPINE: state of the art reviews, strategies in the pediatric spine, 1st ed. Vol 14, No. 1. Philadelphia: Hanley & Belfus, Inc.; 2000. 

Akbarnia BA, Campbell RM. The Role of the orthopaedic surgeon in child abuse. In: Morrissy RT, Weinstein SL, editors. Lovell and Winter's pediatric orthopaedics, 5th ed. Vol II, Chap 33, Pg 1423. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2000.


Campbell RM. Problem injuries in unique conditions of the musculoskeletal system. In: Rockwood CA, Wilkins KE, Beaty, editors. Fractures in children. 4th Edition, Philaelphia-New York:  JH Lippincott-Raven; 1996.


Campbell Jr RM. Orthopaedic complications of metabolic bone disease. In: Epps Jr CH, Bowen JR, editors. Complications in pediatric orthopaedic surgery. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott Co; 1995.


Campbell RM. Problem injuries in unique conditions of the musculoskeletal system. In:  Rockwood CA, Wilkins KE, King RE, editors. Fractures in children. 2nd edition. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co. Philadelphia; 1991.

Awards and Honors

2015, BioPA Patient Impact Award, Awarded by BioPA, representing all biomedical institutions in Pennsylvania, for the PA individual/institution that has contributed the most to patient impact

2013, "Heroes of the FDA." acknowledging the 30 individuals in the United States who have done the most for care and research in rare diseases to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Orphan Drug Act

2011, "Distinguished Alumnus Award," Johns Hopkins University

2010, Congressional Resolution, Bill no. 1499,111th Congress, 2nd session, "Honoring the achievements of Dr. Robert M. Campbell, Jr., to provide children with lifesaving medical care."

2009, The Scoliosis Research Society Walter Blount Humanitarian Award

2009, Appointment to Federal Selection Committee, FDA Grants for National Non-Profit Pediatric Device Consortia, FDA Office of Orphan Product Development

2008, Honored by inclusion in American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 75th Anniversary History Book " Moving Stories, Seventy Five Years of Orthopaedic Surgery": Surgeon Designers, The Titanium Rib Project

2008, Julio Palmaz Award for Outstanding Innovation in the Biosciences

2008, Marquis Who's Who in the World

2008, Best Paper Award, International Congress of Early Onset Scoliosis meeting, Montreal, Canada --"The Characterization of the Thoracic Biomechanics of Respiration in Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome by Dynamic Lung MRI: A Preliminary Report"

2008, Selected for Inclusion in "Best Doctors in America"

2007, Invited Testimony for Senate Committee on Health at Hearing for Pediatric Device Development Bill

2007, Marquis Who's Who in the World

2007, Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care

2007, Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering

2006, Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering

2006, Marquis Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care

2006, VEPTR project cited as exemplary of safe medical device development in Institute of Medicine Report to Congress "Safe Medical Devices for Children"

2006, Heune Award, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, for outstanding research contributions and future potential

2006, Marquis Who's Who in the World

2005, Elected fellow to American Orthopaedic Association

2005-2007, Marquis Who's Who in America

2005, Therapeutic Achievement Award, National Organization for Rare Disorders, for inventing the Titanium Rib for Treatment of Rare Pediatric Thoracic Diseases

2005, San Antonio Business Journal Health Care Community Hero's Award for Innovation

2005, San Antonio Science and Technology Hall of Fame

2004, FDA Approval of Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib device under Humanitarian Device Exemption

2004, Fellow Scoliosis Research Society

2004, Best Doctors List-Based upon an annual peer review survey of 35,000 physicians nationwide who are asked to identify doctors in their respective specialties to which they would refer patients

2003, Co-Winner, with Hell, AK, SOPUR Award of the German Society of Pediatric Orthopaedics. "Growth of the Spine in Congenital Scoliosis after Expansion Thoraplasty.

1999-2004, Candidate Fellow Scoliosis Research Society

1997, Clinical Orthopaedic Society Traveling Fellowship Award

1996, Best Research Paper Award, Sociedad Mexicana de Ortopedia Pediatrica Annual Meeting, Acapulco, Mexico

1994, Miracle Maker Award, Sponsored by AH Robins and Wyeth Pediatrics

1994,  American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

1993, Imagineer Award:  Mind-Science Foundation of San Antonio

1992, Selected-One of Ten Best Pediatric Specialists in the United States by Child Magazine ( New York Times Company Magazine Group, New York, NY)

Editorial and Academic Positions

Editorial Positions

2007-present, Peer reviewer, The Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics

2007-present, Peer reviewer, Spine

1986-present, Peer reviewer for The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery

Academic and Institutional Committees

2015-present, Member Scoliosis Research Society Committee on Safety and Quality

2014-present, Member, PENN Orthopedic Department Committee on Academic Promotions (COAP)

Leadership and Memberships

Memberships in Professional Organizations

2010-present, Scoliosis Research Society

- Member, Early Onset Scoliosis Task Force

2009-present, Scoliosis Research Society

- 2009-present, Member Evidence Based Medicine Committee

2009-present, Appointment to Federal Selection Committee, FDA Grants for National Non-Profit Pediatric Device Consortia, FDA Office of Orphan Product Development

2004-present, Pediatric Device Development Task Force: American Academy of Pediatrics (Consultant)

2000-present, National Organization of Rare Disorders

- Member, Medical Advisory Committee