D. Kojo Hamilton, MD

  • Professor
  • Director, UPMC Neurosurgical Spine Services
  • Director, Residency Training Program
  • Co-Director, Spine Fellowship Program

D. Kojo Hamilton, MD, a recognized leader in scoliosis, adult spinal deformity and trauma, joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery in July of 2014.

He received his medical degree and residency training from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. He underwent further subspecialty training in complex spine, spinal deformity, scoliosis and spine surgical oncology, with a combined neurosurgical and orthopedic (AOSpine) fellowship, at the University of Virginia. Dr. Hamilton further received subspecialty training in Auckland City Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand.

He is board certified in neurological surgery and a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and a candidate member of the Scoliosis Research Society. After training, Dr. Hamilton received appointments at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Maryland Shock Trauma Hospital where he treated patients with complex spine deformity and severe spine and brain trauma. Before joining UPMC, Dr. Hamilton was at the Oregon Health and Science University Spine Center where he treated patients with neurological trauma as well as spinal deformity conditions including adult idiopathic scoliosis, spondylolisthesis and general back and neck pain.

Dr. Hamilton is nationally involved in teaching advanced and current techniques in scoliosis and adult spine deformity. He has an extensive research background in spine surgery and has presented nationally and internationally on the subject.

Dr. Hamilton has received several awards and accolades from his patients, nurses and peers, including best doctor awards—locally and nationally, six years in a row—since his first year at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Hamilton's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Scoliosis; adult and pediatric spinal deformity; cranial and spine trauma; degenerative conditions of the spine; revision and reconstructive spine surgery.

Board Certifications

American Board of Neurological Surgery
Fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons

Hospital Privileges

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
UPMC Hamot Medical Center
UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
UPMC Mercy
UPMC Presbyterian

Professional Organization Membership

American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
AANS/CNS Joint Section of Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves
AANS/CNS Joint Section of Neurotrauma and Critical Care
AOSpine North America (AOSNA)
International Spine Study Group
Scoliosis Research Society

Professional Activities

IMAST Committee, Scoliosis Research Society
MOC/CME Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Executive Committee, AANS/CNS Joint Section Spine and Peripheral Nerves
Scientific Program Committee, AANS/CNS Joint Section Spine and Peripheral Nerves
DSPN Drugs & Devices Committee, AANS/CNS Joint Section Spine and Peripheral Nerves
ABNS Exam/Extra-Mural Writing Committee, American Board of Neurological Surgery

Education & Training

  • BS (High Honors), Biochemistry, University of Maryland, 1998
  • MD, University of Virginia, 2003
  • Fellowship, Brain and Spine, Auckland City Hospital, 2008
  • Residency, University of Virginia, 2009
  • Fellowship, Complex Spine, University of Virginia, 2010

Honors & Awards

  • Pittsburgh's Best Doctors, Pittsburgh Magazine, 2016-20
  • Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Neurological Surgery, 2020
  • Distinguished Alumni, Univ of Virginia Summer Medical and Dental Education Program

Research Activities

• A Post-Market, Prospective, Multi-Center, Nonrandomized Study To Assess Posterolateral Lumbar Fusions Using Fibergraft® BG Matrix

A prospective, non-randomized (single arm), multi-center, post-market clinical study designed to evaluate FIBERGRAFT® BG Matrix in participants with degenerative disc disease (DDD) with or without radiculopathy, or spinal stenosis and/or spondylolisthesis requiring a fusion. Enrolled participants undergo posterolateral fusion using FIBERGRAFT BG Matrix in combination with autograft and bone marrow aspirate. Participants are followed for two years with outcomes and imaging. Supported by Prosidyan, Inc. Dr. Hamilton is the principal Investigator

• A Prospective, Multicenter Study Evaluating the Safety and Performance of Interbody Implants for the Treatment of Patients with Degenerative Conditions of the Thoracic and/or Lumbar Spine 

A prospective, uncontrolled, multicenter study to evaluate the safety and performance of select interbody implant devices in patients who undergo interbody fusion surgery for degenerative conditions in the lumbar spine. Enrolled participants at our site undergo interbody fusion surgery using the NuVasive Modulus TLIF implant. Participants are followed for two years with outcomes and imaging. Supported by Nuvasive, Inc. Dr. Hamilton is the principal investigator

• Prediction of Postoperative Global Sagittal Alignment Using Musculoskeletal Modeling – Validation Study

This retrospective study looks to validate a novel method of predicting post-operative global sagittal alignment, including compensatory and reciprocal changes from pre-operative radiographic imaging. Participants are categorized into local fusions (1-2 segments), short fusions (3-4 segments), and long fusions (5+). Our site submits pre-operative and post-operative radiographs, surgical and complication information. Supported by Nuvasive, Inc. Dr. Hamilton is the principal investigator

• Multi-Center Prospective Evaluation of Complex Adult Spinal Deformity Surgery (CADS)

A prospective, multi-center study to identify best practice guidelines for complex adult spinal deformity (ASD) patients, including radiographic and clinical outcomes, surgical and postoperative complications, risk factors for and revision surgery rates, and the role of standard work to improve patient outcomes and reduce surgical and postoperative complications. Enrolled participants are followed for 10 years with outcomes and imaging. Supported by International Spine Study Group Foundation (ISSGF). Dr. Hamilton is the principal investigator.

Media Appearances

Some Adults With Scoliosis Could Require Major Corrective Surgery
December 20, 2017
KDKA-TV Health Watch

Physical Therapy for Lower Spine Problems (UPMC Health Beat)
Dr. Hamilton recommends physical therapy to YouTube dance host to solve pain from degenerative disc disease.