Thomas Oxland

Thomas Oxland

Thomas Oxland


P. Eng., Acting Director, ICORD, B.A.Sc., M.A.Sc (Waterloo), M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D. (Yale), Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics

phone: (604) 675-8834
fax: (604) 822-2403
website:  Orthopaedic and Injury Biomechanics Group
office: ICORD
Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, 3rd Floor
818 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver BC
V5Z 1M9

Research Interests


  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Aging Spine
  • Orthopaedic Implants

Current Research Work

  • Spinal Cord Injury: Our group uses experimental and computational approaches to determine whether the pattern of spinal column injury results in different types of spinal cord injury.  From a basic science perspective, we are searching for a biomechanical injury threshold for spinal cord tissue.   Clinically, this line of research is important in the assessment of different therapies for spinal cord injured individuals.  This is a highly interdisciplinary area of research that includes elements of neuroscience, molecular biology, and spine surgery.
  • Aging Spine: Over the past ten years, we have conducted a wide range of studies investigating the bone-implant interface in the aging spinal column.  Recently, we have developed a simplified two-dimensional model of the spine in an attempt to determine the efficacy of long implant constructs that are used in adult deformity.  This research has demonstrated the critical role of the posterior musculature in these patients.  Future research in this area will be to extend the model to three dimensions and to investigate in detail the spinal levels adjacent to the long implant constructs.
  • Orthopaedic Implants: Our group has investigated many biomechanical aspects of orthopaedic implant behaviour over the years, including hip and knee joint replacement devices, fracture fixation implants, and devices used in the spine.  Our most recent research in this area has addressed some design aspects of  total ankle replacement implants.

Selected Publications

  • C. J. Lam, P. Assinck, J. Liu, W. Tetzlaff, and T. R. Oxland, “Impact depth and the interaction with impact speed affect the severity of contusion spinal cord injury in rats,” Journal of neurotrauma, no. ja, 2014.
  • A. D. Melnyk, S. P. Kingwell, Q. Zhu, J. D. Chak, P. A. Cripton, C. G. Fisher, M. F. Dvorak, and T. R. Oxland, “An in vitro model of degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis,” Spine, vol. 38, no. 14, pp. E870–E877, 2013.
  • A. Saari, C. R. Dennison, Q. Zhu, T. S. Nelson, P. Morley, T. R. Oxland, P. A. Cripton, and E. Itshayek, “Compressive Follower Load Influences Cervical Spine Kinematics and Kinetics During Simulated Head-First Impact in an in Vitro Model,” Journal of biomechanical engineering, vol. 135, no. 11, p. 111003, 2013.
  • S. G. Sjovold, S. F. Mattucci, A. M. Choo, J. Liu, M. F. Dvorak, B. K. Kwon, W. Tetzlaff, and T. R. Oxland, “Histological Effects of Residual Compression Sustained for 60 Minutes at Different Depths in a Novel Rat Spinal Cord Injury Contusion Model,” Journal of neurotrauma, vol. 30, no. 15, pp. 1374–1384, 2013.
  • A. Tadros, T. R. Oxland, and P. O’Brien, “The Retroacetabular Angle Determines the Safe Angle for Screw Placement in Posterior Acetabular Fracture Fixation,” International Scholarly Research Notices, vol. 2013, 2013.
  • A. D. Melnyk, T. L. Wen, S. Kingwell, J. D. Chak, V. Singh, P. A. Cripton, C. G. Fisher, M. F. Dvorak, and T. R. Oxland, “Load transfer characteristics between posterior spinal implants and the lumbar spine under anterior shear loading: an in vitro investigation,” Spine, vol. 37, no. 18, pp. E1126–E1133, 2012.
  • C. M. Russell, A. M. Choo, W. Tetzlaff, T.-E. Chung, and T. R. Oxland, “Maximum principal strain correlates with spinal cord tissue damage in contusion and dislocation injuries in the rat cervical spine,” Journal of neurotrauma, vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 1574–1585, 2012.
  • V. Ebacher, P. Guy, T. R. Oxland, and R. Wang, “Sub-lamellar microcracking and roles of canaliculi in human cortical bone,” Acta biomaterialia, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 1093–1100, 2012.
  • C. S. Bailey, S. G. Sjovold, M. F. Dvorak, C. G. Fisher, and T. R. Oxland, “The strength profile of the thoracolumbar endplate reflects the sagittal contours of the spine,” Spine, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 124–128, 2011.
  • T. Lund and T. R. Oxland, “Adjacent level disk disease—is it really a fusion disease?,” Orthopedic Clinics of North America, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 529–541, 2011.

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