Meet Our Spine Specialists


Jacob Buchowski, MD, MS, Vice-Chair, Orthopaedic Surgery, Chief, Spine Division
Jacob Buchowski, MD, MS, is the Lawrence G. and Elizabeth A. Lenke Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Neurological Surgery, Vice-Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Chief of the Spine Division at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also the Director of the Spinal Tumors Center. He is a board-certified specialist in spinal tumors, metastatic spine disease, and complex reconstructive spine surgery of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine for degenerative disorders, spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphoscoliosis, and kyphosis and spondylolisthesis. Dr. Buchowski earned his bachelor and master of science degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University and his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Johns Hopkins, where he served as administrative chief resident at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was fellowship trained in adult and pediatric spine surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Keith Bridwell, MD
Keith Bridwell, MD, is an internationally renowned, board-certified orthopedic surgeon and serves as the J. Albert Key Distinguished Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Bridwell is the Founder of the Pediatric/Adult Spinal Deformity Division, and is the Founder of the Spine Division in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department. He is also the Founder of the Spinal Surgery Fellowship, established in 1991. He has trained 71 fellows to date. He specializes in pediatric and adult spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolisthesis, high-grade spondylolisthesis and complex spinal disorders of the thoracic and lumbar spine. He is consistently listed in America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America and has served as President of the prestigious Scoliosis Research Society. Dr. Bridwell was recently listed as one of the top 28 spinal surgeons in North America in a recent edition of Orthopaedic Review. Dr. Bridwell earned his medical degree and served a residency in orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. In addition, he completed numerous fellowships in spine and scoliosis research at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital, the University of Illinois Hospital and Chicago Shriners Hospital. Click here to watch a video featuring one of Dr. Bridwell's scoliosis patients.

Matthew L. Goodwin, MD, PhD, FACSMMatthew L. Goodwin, MD, PhD, FACSM
Matthew L. Goodwin, MD, PhD, FACSM, is an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Neurological Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Goodwin's practice focuses on taking care of patients with spinal tumors, including both metastatic and primary cancers of the spine, benign-aggressive lesions of the spine, other noncancerous lesions of the spine that may require significant surgical interventions (spinal infections, radiation-induced fractures, etc)., as well as the more common degenerative or traumatic conditions of the spine. Dr. Goodwin attended medical school at Cornell University (Weill Cornell Medical College) in New York, NY, where he became involved in orthopedic oncology rotations. For six months, he lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he studied cervical cancer and HIV, and also completed orthopedic oncology rotations at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Duke University. He then completed his orthopaedic surgery residency from the University of Utah Orthopaedics, in Salt Lake City, UT. During his residency, he spent time  at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai, India, completing a mini-fellowship in orthopaedic oncology and spinal oncology under the direction of Dr. Manish Agarwal. Dr. Goodwin's interest in spinal tumors led to a neurosurgery spine fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, MD, where he trained under the direction of Dan Sciubba, MD, an internationally-renowned spinal tumor surgeon. During his fellowship, Dr. Goodwin performed numerous complex tumor cases with Dr. Sciubba, including multiple sacrectomies, multiple en bloc spondylectomies (at cervical, thoracic, and lumbar levels), as well as the treatment of complex spinal deformity and spinal infections (such as destructive spinal coccidiodomycosis).  

Munish Gupta, MD
Munish Gupta, MD, is the Mildred B. Simon Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Gupta specializes in adult and pediatric spine surgery, with a focus on complex spinal reconstructive surgery for treatment of all spinal deformities of the lumbar, thoracic and cervical regions. He has over 23 years of experience in treating spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolisthesis and Flatback syndrome. Dr. Gupta also specializes in spinal revision surgery and spinal tumors. Dr. Gupta received his medical degree at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, where he also completed an Internship in General Surgery, and a residency in Orthopaedic Surgery. He then completed a fellowship in Spine Surgery at the Kenton D. Leatherman Spine Center and University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. Prior to arriving at Washington University, Dr. Gupta served as the Vice-Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chief of Spine Surgery and Clinical Co-Director of the Spine Center at the University of California Davis School of Medicine. He also served as the Director of Spine Surgery for Shriners Hospital of Northern California. 

Brian Kelly, MD
Brian Kelly, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. He specializes in the non-operative and surgical treatment of pediatric spinal deformities of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine (scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis), including congenital, neuromuscular, and early-onset scoliosis, and surgical treatment of the growing spine. Dr. Kelly earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, NY, and completed a residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program. He did both a research fellowship in Orthopaedic Surgery and a clinical fellowship in Pediatric Orthopaedics at Boston Children’s Hospital. 

Scott Luhmann, MD
Scott Luhmann, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in pediatric orthopedics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He is an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Luhmann’s clinical interests focus on reconstructive spine surgery to treat a wide range of pediatric spinal deformities, including scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis. He also specializes in spinal tumors, fractures, congenital and neuromuscular disorders and early-onset scoliosis. Dr. Luhmann earned his medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine in Minneapolis, MN in 1991. After serving a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Luhmann completed a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. He also completed an additional fellowship in orthopaedic spine surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. 

Nicholas Pallotta, MD, MS
Nicholas Pallotta, MD, MS, specializes in the treatment of spine conditions in adults, with a particular focus on adult spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis and spondylolisthesis. Dr. Pallotta earned his medical degree from Stony Brook School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY. He completed his residency training in orthopaedic surgery at Stony Brook Hospital in Stony Brook, NY and fellowship training in spine surgery at Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO.

Megan Knetzer, DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Megan specializes in the evaluation and nonoperative treatment of spine conditions (including spinal tumors) and acute back and neck problems in adolescent and adult patients. She also collaborates with spine surgeon Jacob Buchowski, MD, MS, to provide preoperative evaluations and postoperative care for spine surgery patients. Megan earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO. She then completed a doctorate degree in family nurse practitioner studies from Souther Illinois University Edwardsville in Edwarsville, IL.

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