Department of  Neurosurgery
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Neill M. Wright, MD

Neill M. Wright, MDHerbert Lourie Professor of Neurological Surgery
Professor of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgery

Co-Director, Neurosurgical Spine Fellowship


Washington University School of Medicine
Department of Neurological Surgery
660 S. Euclid Avenue
Campus Box 8057
St. Louis, Missouri 63110

Administrative Office: 314-747-6144
Patient Appointments: 314-362-3577
Fax: 314-362-2107

Clinical Interests
Dr. Wright focuses his practice on disorders of the cervical spine, and has performed over 2,000 cervical spine surgeries. His practice includes the treatment of craniocervical/craniovertebral junction disorders, atlantoaxial instability, cervical spondylosis, cervical disc herniations, cervical myelopathy, cervical radiculopathy, cervical spondylolithesis, cervical stenosis, cervical deformity, as well as tumors of the spinal cord and spine. He has the largest series of cervical artificial disc surgeries (cervical arthroplasty) at Washington University.

Dr. Wright is the developer of the C2 laminar fixation technique, now popular worldwide for the treatment of atlantoaxial instability. He is also one of the leading experts on the use of synthetic bone in cervical spine procedures.

Research Interests
Clinical outcomes of cervical spine surgeries, developing cervical spinal surgery techniques

BA, Neurobiology, University of California, Berkeley
Regents Scholar
Berkeley, California

MD, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
School of Medicine
Los Angeles, California

Intern, General Surgery
Barnes-Jewish Hospital & Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri

Resident, Neurological Surgery
Barnes-Jewish Hospital & Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri

Chief Resident, Pediatric Neurosurgery
St. Louis Children’s Hospital & Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri

Research Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine,
Bone and Mineral Disease
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri

Chief Resident, Adult Neurological Surgery
Barnes-Jewish Hospital & Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri

Fellow, Spinal Neurosurgery
J. Patrick Johnson, MD, Director

Neurological Surgery, University of California,
Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine
Los Angeles, California
July 2000- February 2001

Institute for Spinal Disorders
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, California
February 2001-June 2001

Hospital Appointments
Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
St. Louis Children’s Hospital

Medical Licensure
Missouri, California

Board Certification
American Board of Neurological Surgery (2003)


  1. Hawasli, A., Ray, WZ, and Wright, NM. Symptomatic thoracic final cord herniation: case series and technical report. Neurosurgery 10(S3):E498-504, 2014.
  2. Kim KD, and Wright NM. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Hydrogel Spinal Sealant (DuraSeal™ Spinal Sealant) as an Adjunct to Sutured Dural Repair in the Spine: Results of a Prospective, Multicenter, Randomized Controlled Study. Spine 36(23): 1906-12, 2011.
  3. Dorward I and Wright NM. Seven years experience with C2 translaminar screw fixation – clinical experience and review of the literature. Neurosurgery 68(6):1490-9, 2011.
  4. Marschall J, Bhavan KP, Olsen MA, Fraser VJ, Wright NM, Warren DK. The impact of pre-biopsy antibiotics on pathogen recovery in hematogenous vertebral osteomyelitis. Clinical Infectious Diseases 52(7): 867-72, 2011.
  5. Bhavan KP, Marschall J, Olsen MA, Fraser VJ, Wright NM, and Warren DK. The epidemiology of hematogenous vertebral osteomyelitis: a cohort study in a tertiary care hospital. Biomed Central (BMC) Infectious Diseases 10:158, 2010.
  6. Ray WZ, Wright NM. Anterior cervical arthrodesis using an osteoconductive scaffold: the use of beta-tricalcium phosphate with local bone marrow aspirate in over 100 patients. SAS Journal 3(3):114-117, 2009.
  7. Menendez J, Wright NM. Techniques of posterior C1-2 fusion. Neurosurgery 60(S1):103-111, 2007.
  8. Cassinelli E, Lee M, Skalak A, Ahn N, Wright NM. Anatomic considerations for the placement of C2 laminar screws. Spine 31(24):2767-2771, 2006.
  9. Ashley W, Wright NM. A giant nonsyndromic anterior sacral meningocele resected via an anterior approach: case report and review of literature. Surgical Neurology 66(1):89-93, 2006.
  10. Leonard JJ, Wright NM. Pediatric atlantoaxial fixation with bilateral, crossing C2 translaminar screws. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics 104(1):59-63, 2006 [cover article].
  11. Limbrick D, Wright NM. Verification of nerve root decompression during minimally invasive lumbar microdiskectomy: a practical application of surgeon-driven evoked EMG. Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery 48:1-5, 2005.
  12. Wright NM. Translaminar rigid fixation of the axis. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine 3:409-14, 2005.
  13. Guarino AH, and Wright NM. Pneumocephalus after a lumbar epidural steroid injection. Pain Physician 8(2):239-41, 2005.
  14. Wright NM. Single-surgeon simultaneous versus staged anterior and posterior spine reconstruction: a comparative study. Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques 18(S1):48-57, 2005.
  15. Wright NM. Posterior C2 fixation using bilateral, crossing C2 laminar screws: case series and technical note. Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques 17(2):158-162, 2004.
  16. Jost SC, Hsien TP, Wright NM. Symptomatic intraosseous synovial cyst in the cervical spine: a case report. Spine 28 (17): E344-6, 2003.
  17. Riew KD, Lou J, Wright NM, Cheng SL, Bae T, Avioli LV. Thoracoscopic intradiscal spine fusion using a minimally invasive gene therapy technique. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 85-A (5):866-71, 2003.
  18. Walker DH, Wright NM. Bone morphogenetic proteins and spinal fusion. Neurosurgery Focus 13(6) Article 3, 2002.
  19. Patel NP, Wright NM, Choi WW, McBride DQ, Johnson JP. Forestier disease associated with a retroodontoid mass causing cervicomedullary compression. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine 96(3):190-6, 2002.
  20. Cheng SL, Lou J, Wright NM, Lai CF, Avioli LV, Riew KD. In Vitro and In Vivo induction of bone formation using a recombinant adenoviral vector carrying the human BMP-2 gene. Calcified Tissue International 68(2):87-94, 2001.
  21. Kaplan S, Wright NM, Yundt K, Lauryssen C. Adjacent fracture-dislocations of the lumbosacral spine: case report. Neurosurgery 44(5):1134-7, 1999.
  22. Wright NM, Kaufman B, Haughey B, Lauryssen C. Reconstruction of complex cervical spine neoplastic disease with a vascularized fibular strut graft: case report. Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine 90(1):133-9, 1999.
  23. Wright NM, Lauryssen C. Techniques of posterior C1-2 stabilization. Techniques in Neurosurgery 4(4):286-97, 1998.
  24. Riew KD, Wright NM, Cheng S, Avioli L, Lou J. Induction of bone formation using a recombinant adenoviral vector carrying the human BMP-2 gene. Calcified Tissue International 63(4):357-60, 1998.
  25. Wright NM, Lauryssen C. Vertebral artery injury in C1/2 transarticular screw fixation: results of a survey of the AANS/CNS joint section on disorders of the spine and peripheral nerves. Journal of Neurosurgery 4(88):634-40, 1998. [cover article]
  26. Paw B, Moskowitz S, Uhrhammer N, Wright N, Kaback M, Neufeld E. Juvenile GM2 gangliosidosis caused by substitution of histidine for arginine at position 499 or 504 of the alpha-subunit of beta-hexosaminidase. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 265(16):9452-57, 1990.
  27. Nord E, Trizna W, Gravich A, Mikhail N, Wright N, Hafezi A, and Fine L. The isolated proximal tubular (PT) cell: a new model for studying hormonal regulation of transport. Kidney International. 25(1):311, 1984.