Dr. David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD

Neurosurgeon at UPMC Department of Neurosurgery

Meet Dr. David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD

Dr. Okonkwo is a board-certified and fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with UPMC Department of Neurosurgery.

He specializes in the treatment of scoliosis and other spinal deformities, minimally invasive spine surgery, and experimental therapies for spinal cord injuries.

Dr. Okonkwo at a Glance

  • Dr. Okonkwo is a professor and executive vice chair of neurosurgery at UPMC.
  • He has published more than 130 papers and gives lectures around the world to advance the field of minimally invasive treatment of spinal deformity.

Dr. Okonkwo is ready to help you find relief.

Dr. Okonkwo is a member of UPMC Department of Neurosurgery.

Directions to our primary location in Pittsburgh, PA

How Dr. David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD Can Help You


  • Neurosurgeon


  • Fellowship - Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Residency - University of Virginia Medical School, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Medical School- Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College, Richmond, Virginia


  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Trauma
  • Scoliosis and Deformity
  • Complex Spinal Disorders
  • Hydrocephalus


  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion
  • Kyphoplasty/Vertebroplasty
  • Microdiscectomy/Microdecompression
  • Shunts

What Patients are Saying About Dr. David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD

Dr Okonkwo has treated 2 other family members and of course there was no question on whom I needed to see for my problem. He is very respectful and compassionate. He is willing to explain things in easy to understand terms and explain them fully. He is an extremely skilled and educated surgeon who is not quick to rush to surgery for his patients and explores all options available to his patients. I trust him with my life. The PA was very polite and professional but seems to downplay your symptoms a bit when you're discussing them with him. When you're in a position where you feel that you need to see a Neurosurgeon (at least in my case) its not a decision made lightly, and your symptoms are very important and concerning as the patient. Dr. Okonkwo does not downplay anything that you are feeling. He is very interested and concerned.

— UPMC Patient

My care with this surgeon and his team have been excellent.

— UPMC Patient

Each time I have met with Dr. Okonkwo and his staff, everyone has been very professional. They have listen to my concerns and responded in the manner that I would understand.

— UPMC Patient

Dr Okonkwo and ALL of his staff have been immensely helpful in dealing with my issues. All of them seem to genuinely care about my well-being. They listen while I describe the issues that I'm having and it's obvious that they are actually listening and pondering, not just waiting to give me a standard response. While I did have a setback, I'm again moving in the right direction.

— UPMC Patient

Dr Okonkwo is a superior physician with an amazing compassion and understanding of patient's needs. I have been to many different doctor's regarding my medical issue, and he was the only one who found a solution to solve the problem. He takes a great deal of time at each visit to make sure that I understand the options, and risks, as well as seek the best possibility.

— UPMC Patient

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Accolades for Dr. David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD

Professional Distinctions

  • Professor and Executive Vice Chair, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

Professional Affiliations

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • American College of Surgeons (Associate Member)
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons
  • International Neurotrauma Society
  • National Neurotrauma Society

Board Certifications

  • Neurological Surgery
  • American Board of Neurological Surgery

Office Information for Dr. David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD

UPMC Presbyterian 200 Lothrop Street Suite A-402 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Driving Directions

Primary Location

UPMC Presbyterian
200 Lothrop Street
Suite A-402
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Visit the UPMC Department of Neurosurgery's Website

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