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Mohammad Diab


Pediatric orthopedic surgeon
Endowed Professor, Orthopedic Surgery; hip and spine expert

Dr. Mohammad Diab is an orthopedic surgeon who cares for children and adolescents with all types of musculoskeletal conditions, including fractures, orthopedic infections, bone deformities, orthopedic birth defects and neuromuscular disorders. His expertise includes treating young adults with residual childhood deformities, such as previously undiagnosed hip dysplasia (an abnormality of the joint between the thighbone and hip socket). He serves as vice chair of pediatric clinical operations in the UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Diab is especially interested in conditions affecting the spine and hip, including scoliosis (a spinal curvature to one side), kyphosis (forward rounding of the spine that results in a hunched posture), spondylolisthesis (in which a vertebra has slipped onto the vertebra below) and femoroacetabular impingement (when the hip bones don't fit together as they should, causing friction).

Among the procedures Diab regularly performs are spinal fusion, spinal instrumentation (implanting devices to provide spinal stability), reduction (realigning bones, such as following a fracture), osteotomy (cutting and reshaping bone to treat certain injuries or conditions) and joint stabilization surgeries. As one of the innovators of spine tethering (a surgery to correct spinal curvature), he performed this procedure first in 2007 and has since trained many surgeons in the technique. He started the programs for periacetabular osteotomy (a joint correction procedure for younger patients with hip dysplasia) and surgical hip dislocation (used to correct hip joint conditions, such as impingement) at Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Subjects of Diab's research include care for scoliosis and hip deformities. He has presented his research at national and international meetings. In addition to publishing many studies on pediatric musculoskeletal conditions in peer-reviewed journals, he co-authored Practice of Paediatric Orthopaedics, a standard textbook used worldwide.

Diab earned his medical degree from Stanford University. He completed a residency in general orthopedic surgery at the University of Washington and a fellowship in pediatric orthopedic surgery at Harvard University. After serving as an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Washington, he joined UCSF in 2002 as chief of pediatric orthopedic surgery.

Diab is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America and Scoliosis Research Society. At UCSF, he held a chair with the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators for a decade and now holds the endowed chair in pediatric orthopedic medical education. He has taught numerous courses for orthopedic surgeons, and regularly mentors medical students, residents and fellows.

Born in Cairo, Diab completed his early education in the United Kingdom. Rooted in his undergraduate major of classical studies and spurred by his interest in the history of medicine, he wrote a book on medical language, Lexicon of Orthopædic Etymology. Most recently, he turned his focus to electronic education, developing software applications to help patients navigate their conditions and treatments, as well as an image library of pediatric orthopedic disorders.

  • Education

    Stanford University School of Medicine, 1990

  • Residencies

    University of Washington, School of Medicine, Orthopaedic Surgery, 1997

  • Fellowships

    Harvard University, Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, 1998

  • Board Certifications

    Orthopaedic Surgery, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

  • Academic Title


Where I see patients (8)

    My work

    Hip surgery: One patient's journey

    A 14-year-old is healed and returns to the sports he loves

    Spine surgery: Back to hiking and rock climbing

    After two vertebral body tethering surgeries to correct scoliosis, this college student is back in action

    Practice of Paediatric Orthopaedics, by Dr. Mohammad Diab

    An important textbook in the field of pediatric orthopedics, used worldwide

    Selected research

    Decorative Caduceus

    Open-label Placebo (COLP) for Pain in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) Surgery+Surgical Tr...

    Oral morphine equivalents (OMEs) are values that represent the potency of an opioid dose relative to morphine. Using OMEs provides a standardized method for converting between various opiate medications. Each oral opioid dose is a...


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