Matthew L. Goodwin, MD, PhD, FACS

Matthew L. Goodwin, MD, PhD, FACSM

Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery
Division of Spine Surgery

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(314) 514-3500

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 has completed specialized surgical training in both neurosurgery and orthopedics, which has provided him with a unique background to treat patients with complex spinal conditions. Dr. Goodwin is dedicated to providing his patients with the highest level of care.

Common Diagnoses Treated

  • Primary tumors of the spine and sacrum (benign and malignant):      
    • Aneurysmal bone cysts (ABC)
    • Chordoma
    • Chondrosarcoma
    • Ewing’s sarcoma
    • Giant cell tumors (GCT)
    • Liposarcoma
    • Osteosarcoma
    • Osteochondroma
    • Osteiod osteoma
    • Osteoblastoma
    • Plasmacytoma
    • Synovial sarcoma
    • Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS)
  • Metastatic disease of the spine, including:
    • Breast cancer
    • Lung cancer
    • Lymphoma
    • Multiple Myeloma 
    • Prostate cancer 
    • Renal cancer
    • Thyroid cancer
  • Tumor-like conditions of the spine: 
    • Arteriovenous (AV) malformations
    • Destructive spinal infections (e.g. TB, coccidiodomycosis)
    • Spinal infections (e.g. osteomyelitis)
  • Degenerative conditions of the spine: 
    • Adjacent segment disease
    • Atlanto-axial (C1-C2) pathology
    • Atlanto-occipital dissociation
    • Atlanto-occipital pathology
    • Degenerative scoliosis
    • Disc herniation of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine
    • Facet fractures/subluxations/dislocations
    • Failed fusion/pseudoarthrosis
    • Flat back deformity
    • Fractures of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine
    • Kyphosis
    • Myelopathy
    • Myeloradiculopathy
    • Neurogenic claudication
    • Odontoid fractures
    • Radiculopathy
    • Revision surgery
    • Sagittal imbalance
    • Spinal stenosis
    • Spinal trauma
    • Spondylolisthesis
    • Synovial cysts

Common Procedures

  • Common tumor procedures:
    • En bloc spondylectomy for primary tumors
    • Corpectomy of cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine
    • Open vertebroplasty with or without instrumentation
    • Resection and reconstruction of tumors of the cervical, thoracic, lumbar spine
    • Resection and reconstruction of tumors of the sacrum/pelvis
  • Other common procedures:
    • Anterior and posterior spinal instrumentation and fusion
    • Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
    • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
    • Lateral retroperitoneal approach to the lumbar spine
    • Pedicle substraction osteotomy (PSO)
    • Posterior atlanto-axial fusion (C1-2)
    • Posterior cervical decompression and instrumented fusion
    • Posterior cervical laminectomy
    • Posterior cervical and lumbar foraminotomies
    • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
    • Posterior lumbar decompression and instrumented fusion
    • Posterior lumbar discectomies
    • Posterior lumbar laminectomy and laminoplasty
    • Posterior occipital-cervical (OC) fusion
    • Posterior thoracic laminectomy and laminoplasty
    • Posterior thoracic laminectomy and instrumented fusion
    • Posterior thoracic costotransversectomy
    • Posterior thoracic lateral extracavitary approach
    • Posterior thoracolumbar osteotomies
    • Spinal osteotomies
    • Thoracic thoracotomy for anterior approach to spine
    • Thoracic disc herniation discectomy
    • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
    • Vertebral column resection (VCR)

Clinical Office Locations

Hospital Affiliations

  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital
  • Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital

Academic Office Mailing Address

  • Washington University School of Medicine

    Campus Box 8233

    660 South Euclid Avenue

    Saint Louis, MO 63110

We welcome you to Washington University Orthopedics, where our spine team is known nationally and internationally for providing patients with premier spine care. Washington University Orthopedics has a long history of leading the way in surgical spinal care for patients, and I am humbled and honored to be a part of this team. I look forward to taking the absolute best possible care of you.

On our website, you will find a tremendous amount of material that will help you prepare for any possible upcoming spinal surgery. I often remind patients that all of us are patients or family members of patients at one time or another; I am no different! (JAMA 2017;318(20):1977-1978) Critical to our shared success is that we consider you as a vital member of the team as we make decisions. Finally, in order to provide you with optimal care, we will often ask for a few things even before your appointment:

  1. You will have radiographs (X-rays) taken of your spine before seeing me, even if you have already had an MRI and/or CT scan. Standing, upright plain radiographs provide a lot more information than most people realize. With an X-ray (unlike with a CT or MRI), we can see soft tissue, bones, alignment, hardware, etc., all at one time. Furthermore, the X-ray, helps us learn a lot about your alignment, bone structure, and where there is abnormal movement that may not be apparent on your MRI or CT scan. I have spoken internationally and published on radiation safety and would not advocate for this unless it was warranted. 
  2. If you had tests or images done from another physician or hospital, please bring the actual images (not just the interpretation) on a disc with you to your appointment. While many patients try to have one hospital send another hospital images, current privacy laws still make hand delivery by the patient the most reliable way of making sure we get what we need.

Our spine team places a great amount of importance on conservative spine care, exhausting all nonoperative approaches to treatment before moving to surgery. In the case that a patient's condition has not responded to nonoperative treatment or conservative treatment is not warranted, it is truly our privilege to take care of you, and we'll work hard to provide you with the highest level of care. Welcome to the team! 

MyChart Patient Portal

Patient Education

Meet Dr. Goodwin's Patients

Mike Vipperman Stone Wittman TiaGundlach Sereece Snow Tricia Martin Elena Berjer

Selected Publications:

Other Publications:


  • Goodwin ML and Wit LC. Biomedical Physiology. 1st Ed (2011), Rev Printing (2012).  Kendall Hunt Publishing, Copyright 2011, ISBN 978-0-7575-7976-9.

Book Chapters:

  • Goodwin ML and Sciubba DM. Radiation, robotics, and reconstructive options in spine tumor surgery. Chapter for upcoming Surgical Spinal Oncology (2019).
  • Goodwin ML, Pennington Z, and Sciubba DM. Strategies to Minimize Surgeon Radiation Exposure. Chapter for Operative Techniques in Orthopaedics (2019).

Research Interests

Dr. Goodwin's research interests are centered around metabolism, particularly of intervertebral discs and of spinal tumors.

Studying the metabolism of muscle and the kinetics of both lactate metabolism and oxidative phosphorylation for many years led to his interest in tumor metabolism and intervertebral disc metabolism. As a Division 1 Cross Country runner, he spent hours performing human performance testing in the lab. He then completed his PhD under LB Gladden, one of the world authorities on lactate metabolism, where his work on the controls of oxidative metabolism was nominated for best science dissertation (Journal of Applied Physiology 2012;112(1):9-19).

After his PhD, he continued studying metabolism throughout Medical School and residency, where as an orthopedic resident he designed and performed seminal experiments that demonstrated the role lactate plays in the tumor microenvironment in a novel mouse model of sarcoma, promoting robust angiogenesis (Cancer Cell 2014(26):1-12.). 

Dr. Goodwin’s interest in intervertebral discs and tumors represents the “extremes” of metabolism. Tumors are often hyper-vascular, while discs are largely avascular. This contrasting metabolic behavior represents opposing ends of the spectrum of human tissue, providing a unique insight into basic principles underlying metabolism. Both Dr. Goodwin's clinical practice and his own personal interests in the metabolism of tumors drive his research. 

His current focus is on substrate utilization in tumor metabolism. The ultimate goal is to discover mechanisms that may be targeted and thus impact both patients with rare diseases (such as spinal tumors) and common diseases (such as degenerative disc disease) of the spine. 

More Information: 

Research Awards

  • The Children's Discovery Institute (CDI) Faculty Scholar Award. This award provides $300,000 in funding over the next five years for Dr. Goodwin to further investigate the role of lactate and lactate transport inhibition in cancer (osteosarcoma).
  • AO Spine North America Young Investigator Research Grant Award (YIRGA). This award provides $20,000 in funding over one year for Dr. Goodwin to investigate the role of lactate metabolism in intervertebral disc degeneration.


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).  

Master's Degree (MA)

  • Education, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Furman University, Greenville, SC

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Physiology of Exercise, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Medical Doctor (MD)

  • Cornell University (Weill Cornell Medical College), New York, NY


  • Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Utah Orthopaedics, Salt Lake City, UT


  • Neurosurgery (Complex Spine Surgery/Spinal Tumors), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Honors and Awards

  • 2019, Named a “Top 20 under 40” spine surgeon by North American Spine Society (NASS)
  • 2019, Best Presentation Award, Annual Globus Fellows Day Presentation
  • 2019, Banff, AO Spine Conference, selected “top abstract” for podium presentation
  • 2011-2016, Invited medical lecturer at Cornell Medical, Physiology, beginning as a 2nd year student
  • 2014, Young Investigator Award, Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS)
  • 2013-current, Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM)
  • 2013, Recipient of Moselle and Milton Pollack Prize in Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell
  • 2013, MD with Honors in Service from Weill Cornell Medical College
  • 2011, Weill Cornell Medical Student Research Day: First Prize, Oral Presentation
  • 2010-2011, President, Medical School Student Body, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • 2010, Weill Cornell Pediatric Research Day: First Prize, Poster Presentation
  • 2010, Distinguished Dissertation Award, Nominee for Science Dissertation

Professional Memberships

  • AO Spine
  • North American Spine Society (NASS)
  • Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • American Physiological Society (APS)
  • American Medical Association (AMA)

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