Click To View Our Staff Directory
James Aronson, MD
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/College of Medicine/Department of Pediatric
Division Chief, Pediatric Orthopaedics, Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Phone: (501) 364-1469
Research Overview  

In 1985, Dr. Aronson performed the first leg-lengthening procedure in North America using the Ilizarov method. This technique was first pioneered in Russia. Today, he is recognized worldwide as the leading researcher in this bone-lengthening technique, otherwise known as distraction osteogenesis. He was one of the founders and past president of the Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society, organizer of the first international meeting of Associations for the Study of the Methods of Ilizarov and editor of numerous orthopaedic journals including, Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research and the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. As a full-time clinician in pediatric orthopaedics, he cares for children with all orthopaedic problems and as professor at UAMS, has published 76 articles and 21 chapters, edited a textbook, and educated over 120 residents in orthopaedic surgery.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Aronson has employed the Ilizarov method for more than 500 patients to salvage limbs that were shortened from congenital deformity or trauma. He has also used its capability to reconstruct complex angular deformities, osteomyelitis, and nonunions in patients as young as 16 months and older than 50 years who would otherwise face amputations or lifelong handicaps.

Dr. Aronson received the 1995 Pediatric Orthopaedic Society’s Arthur H. Huene Memorial Award. Dr. Aronson was only the fifth person ever honored by his colleagues in North America for making significant research contributions to the field of pediatric orthopaedics. Most recently, Dr. Aronson received the prestigious Nicolas Andry Award at an international meeting in Paris, for the combined work, with many colleagues such as Dr. Charles Lumpkin, Jr., PhD, at the Laboratory for Limb Regeneration Research, using the rat model to study mechanisms of bone formation and failure with aging using molecular biology and modulators.

Dr. Aronson has collaborated with Dr. Lumpkin and Dr. John Fowlkes, MD (Pediatric Endocrinology), to study the effects of diabetes on new bone formation. He has also collaborated with Martin Ronis, PhD (Nutrition Center), to study the effects of ethanol on bone growth and homeostasis. Dr. Aronson and his longtime colleague, Lichu Liu, MD, directed their research toward therapies for modulating the adverse regression of marrow progenitor cells associated with aging in order to reverse bone catabolism. Their latest grant submission with Principal Investigator, Beata Lecka-Czernik, PhD (Department of Gerontology), explored mechanisms of certain diabetic drugs on marrow fat and bone progenitor cells, such as roziglitazone.

Key Publications

Aronson J, Liu L, Liu Z, Gao GG, Perrien D, Brown E, Skinner RA, Thomas JR, Morris KD, Suva LJ, Badger TM, Lumpkin CK Jr. Decreased Endosteal Membranous Bone Formation Accompanies Aging in a Mouse Model of Distraction Osteogenesis. e-biomed: J Regenerative Med. 3:7-15, 2002.

Aronson, J. The Nicolas Andry Award, Modulation of Distraction Osteogenesis in the Aged Rat by Fibroblast Growth Factor. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 425:264-283. 2004

Perrien D, Brown E, Fletcher T, Irby J, Aronson J, Gao G, Skinner R, Hogue W, Feige W, Suva L, Ronis M, Badger T, Lumpkin CK Jr. Interleukin-1 and Tumor Necrosis Factor Antagonists Attenuate Ethanol-Induced Inhibition of Bone Formation in a Rat Model of Distraction Osteogenesis. JPET. 303:904-904, 2002.

Thrailkill KM, Liu L, Wahl EC, Bunn RC, Cockrell GE, Perrien DS, Skinner RA, Fowlkes JF, Aronson J, Lumpkin CK Jr. Bone Formation is Impaired in a Model of Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes. 54(10):2875-2881. 2005

Shankar K, Hidestrand M, Haley R, Skinner RA, Hogue W, Jo CH, Simpson P, Lumpkin CK Jr, Aronson J, Badger TM, Ronis MJ. Different molecular mechanisms underlie ethanol-induced bone loss in cycling and pregnant rats. Endocrinology. 147(1):166-78. 2006.

Liu Z, Aronson J, Wahl EC, Liu L, Perrien DS, Kern PA, Fowlkes JL, Thrailkill KM, Bunn RC, Cockrell GE, Skinner RA, Lumpkin CK, Jr. “A novel rat model for the study of deficits in bone formation in type-2 diabetes.” Acta Orthopaedica, V. 78:N1, p. 46, Feb., 2007.

Wahl EC, Aronson J, Liu L, Liu Z, Gao GG, Perrien D, Skinner RA, Thomas JR, Morris KD, Suva LJ, Badger TM, Lumpkin CK Jr. “Chronic ethanol exposure inhibits distraction osteogenesis in a mouse model: role of TNF.” Toxicol Appl Pharm 220:302-310, 2007.

Wahl EC, Aronson J, Liu L, Fowlkes JL, Thrailkill KM, Bunn RC, Skinner RA, Miller MJ, Cockrell GE, Clark LM, Ou Y, Isales CM, Badger TM, Ronis MJ, Sims J, Lumpkin CK.  “Restoration of Regenerative Osteoblastogenesis in Aged Mice:  Modulation of TNF.”  J Bone Miner Res 25(1):114-123, 2010 .

Lumpkin CK, Wahl E, Fowlkes JL, Thrailkill KM, Bunn RC, Aronson J; “Direct Bone Formation during Distraction Osteogenesis does not require TNF<alpha> Receptors and Elevated Serum TNF <alpha> Fails to Inhibit Bone Formation in TNFR1 Deficient Mice.”  Bone 46: 410-417, 2010

Perrien DS, Nicks KM, Liu L, Akel NS, Bacon AW, Skinner RA, Swain FL, Aronson J, Suva LJ, Gaddy D; “Inhibin A enhances bone formation during distraction osteogenesis” J Orthop Res 30(2): 288-295, 2012.

Wahl EC, Aronson J, Liu L, Skinner RA, Ronis MJJ, Lumpkin CK  “Distraction osteogenesis in TNF receptor 1 deficient mice is protected from chronic ethanol exposure”. Alcohol 46(2) 133-138, 2012.

Wahl EC, Aronson J, Liu L, Skinner RA, Ronis MJJ, and Lumpkin CK   “Metabolic Endotoxemia and Inhibition of Direct Bone Regeneration: A Pilot Study”  British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research.  2(4): 510-519, 2012.

Liu L, Aronson J, Huang S, Lu Y, Czernik P, Rahman S, Kolli V, Suva LJ, Lecka-Czernik B; “Rosiglitazone inhibits bone regeneration and causes significant accumulation of fat at sites of new bone formation",  Calcif Tissue Int  91(2):139-148, 2012.

Liu L, Aronson J, Lecka-Czernik B; “Rosiglitazone Disrupts Endosteal  Bone Formation during Distraction Osteogenesis by Local Adipocytic Inflitration",  Bone 52(1): 247-258, 2013.

Hardesty CK, Aronson J, Aronson EA, Ranade AS, McCracken CW, Nick TG, Cordell CL;  “Interobserver Variability Using a Commercially Available system of Archived Digital Radiography with Integrated Computer-assisted Measurements for Scoliosis Cobb Angles.”  Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 33(2):163-169,2013.

Stine KC, Wahl EC, Liu L, Skinner, RA, VanderSchilden J, Bunn RC, Montgomery CO, Suva LJ, Aronson J, Becton DL, Nicholas RW, Swearingen CJ, Lumpkin Jr CK; “Cisplatin Inhibits Bone Healing during Distraction Osteogenesis.”  Journal of Orthopaedic Research March 2014; V32(3):464-470,2014.

Research Support

NIDDK/NIH, Type 2 Diabetes and Osteoblastogenesis.

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2R01AA1223-05,2, Ethanol and Osteoblastogenesis

NIAAA, R01 AA12928, Ethanol Effects on Bone Formation in Pregnancy


13 Children's Way • Little Rock, Arkansas 72202-3591
Research Institute (501) 364-7373   Main Hospital (501) 364-1100

© 1999 - 2013 Arkansas Children's Hospital. All rights reserved

Read About Our Privacy Practices
Find Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter