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Keith Bridwell, MD Keith Bridwell, MD
J. Albert Key Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Professor of Neurological Surgery
Founder, Washington University Spine Fellowship
Founder, Pediatric/Adult Spinal Deformity Service
Principal Investigator, NIH/RO1 (AR055176-01A2) - A Multi-Centered Prospective Study of Quality of Life in Adult Scoliosis


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Link to article:"The 28 Top Spine Surgeons in North America"

Clinical Specialty
Scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolisthesis and related spinal deformities and complex spinal pathologies (pediatric and adult)

Clinical Interests
Pediatric and adult spinal deformities; scoliosis, kyphosis  and kyphoscoliosis; pediatric and adult spondylolisthesis; complex spinal disorders of the thoracic and lumbar spine; complex revisions of spinal reconstructive surgery.

Research Interests
Center on improving treatment of complex spinal deformities, in particular idiopathic adolescent scoliosis and adult idiopathic scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis, sagittal and coronal imbalance syndromes, high-grade spondylolisthesis, and clinical outcomes in idiopathic and neuromuscular scoliosis and adult spinal deformity. Also innovative methods to achieve spinal fusion more readily, reduce the need for iliac bone graft harvesting and substantially reduce the invasiveness and morbidity of surgical spinal fusions while obtaining a better clinical outcome, fewer complications and a lower nonunion/pseudarthrosis rate.

Scoliosis Research Society: Membership Chairman (1991-1992), Program Chairman (1995), Board of Directors (1995-1997; 2000-2004; 2005-2006), First Vice President (2000-2001), President-Elect (2001-2002), President (2002-2003). Local host Scoliosis Research Society meeting St. Louis, MO in 1997. The Scoliosis Research Society is the leading international society for the study of spinal deformity and the oldest orthopaedic specialty society in North America. Washington University Spine Fellowship Program – Founder (currently trains four spinal fellows per year) initiated in 1991 to present. To-date has trained 71 fellows, with 4 currently in training. Author of over 315 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 77 textbook chapters in the field of spinal surgery, including editor-in-chief of The Textbook of Spinal Surgery, 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions. The 1st edition was published in 1991 and the 3rd edition was just published within the last four years. Deputy Editor of SPINE for spinal deformity. He has served as course faculty at over 200 national and international meetings. He has served as Program Chairman at 45 national and international meetings. He has presented over 530 abstracts at national meetings. He has presented over 205 invited professorships and lectureships. Dr. Bridwell came to the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 1984 as the first subspecialty-trained spinal surgeon. He practiced all aspects of spinal surgery, specializing in spinal deformity (scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis in pediatric and adult patients). He expanded the program in 1991 by initiating the spinal surgery fellowship. From 1991 to present he has grown the spinal service to where there are now six full-time spine surgeons working in the Spine Section of the Orthopaedic Surgery Department. Dr. Bridwell did his college and medical school training at Washington University in St. Louis. He graduated from medical school in 1977 at the age of 24. He then completed his orthopaedic residency at Washington University in St. Louis/Barnes Hospital/St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He then did spinal surgery fellowships in Chicago.


  • President of the Scoliosis Research Society (2002-2003)
  • Scientific recognition: Russell L. Hibbs Award, 1987
  • Best Basic Science Paper, Scoliosis Research Society Meeting
  • Walter P. Blount Award, 1987, Best Poster, Scoliosis Research Society Meeting
  • Russell L. Hibbs Award, 1991, Best Clinical Paper, Scoliosis Research Society Meeting
  • John H. Moe Award, 1995, Best Poster Exhibit, Scoliosis Research Society Meeting
  • Outstanding Paper Award, 1999, North American Spine Society Meeting
  • Russell L. Hibbs Award, 2002, Best Basic Science Paper, Scoliosis Research Society
  • Louis A. Goldstein Award, 2005, Best Clinical Poster, Scoliosis Research Society
  • The Best Doctors in America 1996 to present and listed in 2007-2008 database
  • Lifetime member of Marquis Who's Who in America
  • Heartworks St. Louis, Hero with a Heart Honoree, National Marfan Association, St. Louis, MO, February 2011
  • Awarded a 7-year NIH/RO1 grant (AR055176-01A2) entitled A Multi-Centered Prospective Study of Quality of Life in Adult Scoliosis to study symptomatic adult spinal deformity. Total funding amount $2,526,530; 2010-2017. He is studying the operative and nonoperative treatment of progressive symptomatic adult spinal deformity and scoliosis. This is the only Federally funded NIH grant which studies adult spinal deformity and the only grant which studies operative treatment of spinal deformity and scoliosis.
  • Leon Wiltse Award, 2016, North American Spine Society


Board Certifications

American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, 1985; American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 1987


Orthopaedic Surgery, Barnes-Jewish Hospital / Washington University School of Medicine

Spine/Scoliosis Research, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital / University of Illinois Hospital / Chicago Shriners Hospital

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American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Scoliosis Research Society

Search for Dr Bridwell's list of publications


Scoliosis Video

Beth Bozzelli - Scoliosis Surgery


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