CHOC Docs :: Provider Profile

Michael G Muhonen, MD



Board Certified:
Neurological Surgery

Special Interests:
Hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, brain tumors, Moyamoya disease, and vascular malformations of the brain

Research Focus:
Cerebral palsy, complicated hydrocephalus and traumatic head injury

Dr. Muhonen is on staff at CHOC Children's Hospital & CHOC Children's at Mission Hospital

CHOC Children's Specialists - Neurosurgery
1010 W La Veta Ave
Orange, CA 92868
phone: 714-509-7070
fax: 714-509-7074
map & directions

Physician / Researcher Bio

For more than 20 years, Dr. Muhonen’s research interests have included hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, traumatic head injuries, spina bifida, brain tumors, Moyamoya disease, and vascular malformations of the brain. Dr. Muhonen served as primary investigator for the clinical trials of Medtronic's Strata Valve, a medical device used to treat hydrocephalus. He led the CHOC research effort on the Intrathecal Baclofen pump for treatment of spasticity and dystonia of cerebral origin. Dr. Muhonen is also involved in clinical research projects studying the outcomes of hydrocephalus treated with different shunting devices and cerebral injury in children who are victims of child abuse.

An internationally-recognized expert in neurosurgery, Dr. Muhonen has published more than 20 original manuscripts and book chapters, and has made more than 100 national and international presentations on various pediatric neurosurgical topics. He has coauthored chapters in the texts Neurosurgical Aspects of Pregnancy for the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Principles of Surgery for Lippinott-Raven, Pediatric Neurosurgery, and Surgery of the Developing Nervous System for W.B. Saunders Co.

Dedicated to clinical excellence, Dr. Muhonen is board certified in neurosurgery. He served as an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of Iowa Hospitals. He completed his residency at the same institution after attending medical school at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Administrative Appointments

  • Medical Director, CHOC Neuroscience Institute, CHOC Children's


  • Medical School
    Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK
  • Neurosurgery Residency
    University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics

Board Certifications

  • Neurological Surgery
    American Board of Neurological Surgery

Honors and Awards

  • Dr. Muhonen has also been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in Orange County, California, specialty of Neurological Surgery as determined by Orange Coast Magazine

Published Works

Mathews MS, Loudon WG, Muhonen MG, Sundine MJ. Vault reduction cranioplasty for extreme hydrocephalic macrocephaly. J Neurosurg. 2007 Oct;107(4 Suppl):332-7; discussion 330-1.

Westhout FD, Muhonen MG, Nwagwu CI. Early propofol infusion syndrome following cerebral angiographic embolization for giant aneurysm repair. Case report. J Neurosurg. 2007 Feb;106(2 Suppl):139-42.

Sundine MJ, Wirth GA, Brenner KA, Loudon WG, Muhonen MG, Greene CS, Rowen S, Sabzghagaei N. Cranial vault reduction cranioplasty in children with hydrocephalic macrocephaly. J Craniofac Surg. 2006 Jul;17(4):645-55.

Kestle, JRW, Walker ML, for the Strata investigators. A multicenter prospective cohort study of the Strata valve for the management of hydrocephalus in pediatric patients. J Neurosurg (Pediatrics 2) 102:141-145, 2005.

Muhonen, MG, et al. Giant Intracranial Teratoma and Lack of Cortical Development in a Fetus. J Neurosurg, 103(2):180-183, 2005.

Albright, AL, Awaad, Y, Muhonen, MG, et al. Performance and complications associated with the Synchromed 10-ml infusion pump for intrathecal baclofen administration in children. J Neurosurg (Pediatrics 1) 101:64-68, 2004.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine