Predicting Osteoporotic Spine Fracture Risk: Hayes+Associates CEO 1985 publication ranked number 23 of 100 most influential publications on spinal fractures since 1953


Hayes+Associates CEO Wilson C. “Toby” Hayes, Ph.D. was recognized in the March 2019 Journal of Spine Surgery as a co-author of one of the 100 most influential spine fracture publications in over half a century of spine fracture research. Hayes led the research team and co-authored the paper Prediction of Vertebral Body Compressive Fracture Using Quantitative Computed-Tomography  when he was Director of the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital. The research helped set the stage for using radiographic imaging to assess risk and prevent fractures of the osteoporotic spine.

 In the paper, the authors showed that there were strong correlations between a widely used clinical method for imaging the spine (CT) and both the density and strength of the bone in human cadaveric vertebrae. The results set the stage for later studies that demonstrated similar strong associations between other radiographic imaging methods and fractures seen clinically in living patients. Diagnostic methods based on this early work and subsequent research by others are now used routinely in the prediction, diagnosis and treatment of spinal fractures, including those resulting from osteoporosis.  

 The lead author, Robert J. McBroom, MD, was at the time a research fellow in the Beth Israel laboratory. He is now a practicing orthopedic surgeon in Mississauga, ON, Canada. Additional co-authors were W. T. Edwards, R. P. Goldberg and Augustus A. White III, MD (then the Chairman of Orthopedics at Beth Israel and currently the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Distinguished Professor of Medical Education at Harvard Medical School).

 The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Maurice E. Mueller Endowed Professorship of Orthopedic Biomechanics at Harvard Medical School (Dr. Hayes) and by the Angus Foundation, Wellesley Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Dr. McBroom).

 Hayes+Associates, Inc. ( is an expert witness and consulting firm, based in Corvallis, OR.  The company brings more than 75 years of collective experience in academic research, university teaching and forensic testimony to practice areas that include vehicle collisions, premises safety, slips and falls, products liability, worker safety, sports and recreation, patent litigation and criminal matters.