Rachel Thompson is a Chicago native, who attended medical school at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and completed her residency in orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. She completed her first fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics and scoliosis at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX and her second in neuromuscular orthopaedics at Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. She additionally completed a travelling fellowship in adolescent and adult hip dysplasia in Aarhus, Denmark before joining the faculty at UCLA.
Her primary area of practice is pediatric orthopaedics, with a specialization in neuromuscular orthopaedics/cerebral palsy and hip dysplasia/disease. She is on staff at Orthopaedic Institute for Children and UCLA as an assistant clinical professor-in-residence in the department of orthopaedics at UCLA, where she also serves as the Director for the UCLA/OIC Center for Cerebral Palsy and the William and Patricia Oppenheim Presidential Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedics . Her clinical and research interests are in cerebral palsy and adolescent hip disease, in utilizing gait analysis to improve surgical decision making, and in the molecular basis for the muscular pathology seen in cerebral palsy.
Dr. Thompson has published clinical peer-reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters in general orthopaedics, pediatric orthopaedics and neuromuscular orthopaedics. She has presented her research both nationally and internationally. Dr. Thompson's research in a broad area of topics has led to receiving research awards from the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Orthopaedic Research Society, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association.
Medical Board Certification
- Muscular pathology in cerebral palsy
- Early identification of cerebral palsy
- Gait analysis in surgical decision making and surgical outcomes
- Hip surveillance in cerebral palsy
- Pain management and surgical preparation for patients with cerebral palsy
- Pain management and medication management in pediatric orthopaedic patients
- Musculoskeletal Infections
1. Thompson, R.M., Hubbard, E., Jo, CH, Virostek, D., Karol, L. (2021) Is the Story Over? Progression After Bracing in AIS. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics. June 1;10.1097.
2. Nahm, N.J., Ludwig, M., Thompson, R.M., Rogers, K., Imici, A., Dabney, K.W., Miller, F., Sees, J.P. (2021) Single Event Multilevel Surgery In Cerebral Palsy: Value Added By A Co-Surgeon. Medicine. Jun 18;100(24):e26294.
3. Douleh, D.G., Greig, D., Thompson, R.M., Garg, S. (2021) When Should Instrumentation to the Pelvis be Considered in Minimally Ambulatory Adolescents with Neuromuscular Scoliosis? Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. Jul;41(p):S53-S58.
4. Hart, C.M., Chen, C., Hsiue, P.P., Farshchi, R., Silva, M., Zeegan, E., Thompson, R.M., Stavrakis, A. (2021) National Trends in Total Hip Arthroplasty Bearing Surface Usage in Extremely Young Patients Between 2006 and 2016. Arthroplasty Today. Aug;10:51-56.
5. Trivellas, A., Hu, V., Krogstad, P., De St Maurice, A., Silva, M., Thompson, R.M. (2021) The Utility of Echocardiography in Pediatric Patients with Musculoskeletal Infections and Bacteremia. Journal of Children’s Orthopaedics. Dec 1;15(6):577-582.
6. Gajewski, C., Gajewski, N., Upfill-Brown, A., Thompson, R.M., Silva, M. (2022) The Utility of Serum Biomarkers in Monitoring Response to Treatment for Pediatric Osteoarticular Infections. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. Jan 1;42(1):e34-e38.
7. Thompson, R.M., Silva, M. (2021) What’s Important: Coaching. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. May 4;104(9):853-854.
8. Alswang, J.M., Belshe, W.B., Killi, D., Bandawe W., Silliman, E.S., Bastian A., Upchurch, B., Bastian M., Pinal, S.M., Klein M.B., Silva M., Ndhlozi B., Chipolombwe, J., Thompson, R.M. (2022) Mobility Impairment and Life Satisfaction in the Northern Region of Malawi. African Journal of Disability. Sep 22;11:1013.
9. Cevallos, N., Zukotynski, B., Greig, D., Silva, M., Thompson, RM. (2022) The Utility of Virtual Reality in Orthopaedic Surgical Training. Journal of Surgical Education. Nov-Dec;79(6):1516-1525.
10. Gajewski, C., Upfill-Brown, A., Chen, K., Silva, M., Thompson, R.M. (2022) The Utility of IR-Guided Biopsy in Treatment of Pediatric Osteomyelitis. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. Dec 30. Online ahead of print.
- Super Doctors® Southern California Rising Stars, 2021, 2023
- Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America St. Giles Young Investigator Award
- Orthopaedic Trauma Association Best Pediatric Paper 2017
- Mac Keith Press AACPDM Promising Career Award
- Spine Research Award, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital
- OREF/ORS Midwest Resident Research Symposium 1st Place Clinical Science Award
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons “Game Changers” Paper
- Mid-America Orthopaedic Association Dallas B. Phemister Physician in Training Award
- Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Medical Society
- Tauber Scholarship recipient
- American Pediatric Society/Society for Pediatric Research Student Research Program
- Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society