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Dr. Richard M. Wupperman

Spine Surgeon. Board certified, Fellowship-Trained


Dr. Richard M. Wupperman is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of spinal disorders.

A former physical therapist, fellowship-trained Dr. Wupperman has special expertise in minimally invasive techniques within scoliosis surgery, as well as the correction of other spinal deformities. “Not all spinal conditions lend themselves to less invasive forms of surgery,” Wupperman states, “however, when they do, patients tend to have less post-operative pain, less blood loss, and tend to have an earlier return to activity.”

Dr. Wupperman earned his M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and earned membership in the Alpha Omega Honor Society. In 2007, Dr. Wupperman completed an orthopedic surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2008, he completed a combined orthopaedic and neurosurgical spine fellowship at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. He has practiced spine surgery in Austin ever since. Prior to medical school, Dr. Wupperman worked seven years as a physical therapist. In 1991, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. In 1997, he was awarded the Outstanding Clinical Educator Award from the Texas Consortium on Physical Therapy.

As a former physical therapist, Dr. Wupperman offers a conservative approach in treating most spinal disorders. Treatments may include various forms of therapy, modified activity, injections, and medications. According to Wupperman, “In rare, urgent cases, or when conservative measures have failed, surgery at times becomes the best option.”

Fellow-ship trained Dr. Wupperman is a faculty member of Lateral Access Surgery and a frequent voice and speaker on the topic. Wupperman is a leading practitioner of the minimally invasive surgical technique called “Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion”, and has co-authored the chapter “XLIF with Pedicle Screw Fixation” in the textbook Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®), published in 2013.

Dr. Wupperman was named one of Austin’s Top Doctors in 2013 by Austin Monthly Magazine. He is an active member of the North American Spine Society, Society of Lateral Access Surgeons, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He regularly attends national meetings on spine research and deformity.

When he is not busy treating his patients and furthering his studies, Dr. Wupperman enjoys a wide variety of family activities with his spouse and child.


  • Undergraduate: Angelo State University, San Angelo, TX
  • Undergraduate: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX
  • Medical: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX


  • Orthopedic Surgery Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Spine Fellowship: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Member North American Spine Society
  • Member Society of Lateral Access Surgeons

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