Spine Center Surgeons

The neurosurgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, pain management physicians and rehabilitation specialists at the GW Spine Center are committed to helping you make an informed decision on a treatment plan that is right for you.

Joseph R. O'Brien, MD
Associate Director of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery; Board-Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery

Joseph O'BrienJoseph O'Brien, MD is the Associate Director of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery and an assistant professor at The George Washington University School of Medicine. His current areas of clinical interest include revision neck surgery, cervical disc replacement and minimally invasive lumbar surgery. Dr. O'Brien also has a particular interest in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis of the neck. He has pioneered cervical fixation techniques at the C1 vertebrae (the atlas) that can prevent the need for occipital fusion in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. O’Brien earned a medical doctorate with distinction at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He then completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was appointed the first academic chief resident. After residency, he completed a fellowship in spinal reconstructive surgery at The Johns Hopkins University.

His work has been published in various journals including Neurosurgery, Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques, Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma and Current Opinion in Orthopaedics. Dr. O'Brien also has participated in oral and poster presentations across the globe and remains actively involved in clinical research.

He has earned several honors and awards. In addition to his memberships in various honor societies, Dr. O’Brien was named the American Orthopaedic Association Emerging Leader in 2005 and was elected to the Kane-King-Dodek Society for Excellence in the Care of Women.

Anthony J. Caputy, MD
Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, Board-Certified in Neurosurgery

Anthony CaputyAnthony Caputy, MD is Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and Professor of Neurosurgery at The George Washington University. He serves as the director of medical education and the program director for neurosurgical residency at The George Washington University Medical Center. His clinical interests include general neurosurgery, epilepsy surgery, brain tumor surgery, spinal surgery, carpal tunnel syndrome, laser surgery and acoustic neuromas. He has been active in developing minimally invasive surgical approaches to spine and complex spine surgeries.

Dr. Caputy earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He completed his internship in general surgery at the University of North Carolina and his residency in neurosurgery at Georgetown University. He pursued further training in neurotrauma as a fellow at the University of Maryland Hospital Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

He has developed and taught programs in endoscopic spinal surgery using minimally invasive techniques and in epilepsy surgery—the only such programs in the region. He has published numerous papers, abstracts and chapters and has authored the textbook Operative Neurosurgical Anatomy. Dr. Caputy's professional memberships include the American College of Surgeons, Epilepsy Foundation of the National Capital Area, the Washington Academy of Neurological Surgery, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Society of Neurological Surgeons.

Warren D. Yu, MD
Chief, Spine Section, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Warren YuWarren D. Yu, MD is currently the Chief of the Spine Section of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery as well as an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgery at The George Washington University School of Medicine. He is also the Director of Spine Surgery at George Washington University Hospital. Dr. Yu specializes in numerous spine procedures, including treatments for cervical disc herniation, cervical stenosis, lumbar degenerative disc disease and stenosis, spinal fusions, kyphoplasty, scoliosis and complex primary and revision spinal reconstructive surgery. In addition, Dr. Yu has interests in nonfusion procedures (disc replacement, X-Stop) for the treatment of cervical and lumbar spinal disorders, complex spine trauma and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. Yu earned his medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School and is a graduate of the Honors Program in Medical Education. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles Department of Orthopedic Surgery. Additionally, he completed a fellowship in spine surgery at Case Western Reserve University Department of Orthopedics Surgery under Dr. Henry Bohlman.

He has published articles in various journals including Spine, The Journal of Spinal Disorders, and The Spine Journal.  Dr. Yu is active in national and international orthopaedic and spine societies with numerous paper and poster presentations and has authored several textbooks chapters. He remains active in clinical research and is the Faculty Coordinator for the George Washington University Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program.

Dr. Yu's professional memberships include the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society, Spine Arthroplasty Society, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

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