Professor Robert Dunn


Has practiced as a orthopaedic spine surgeon in both private and public sectors for the last 20 years following under- and postgraduate training at the University of Cape Town and 18 month clinical spine fellowship in London.  The fellowship allowed a diverse exposure in all areas of spine surgery at the University College of London group of hospitals including the Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queens Square, Great Ormond Street, The Middlesex and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.


Prof Dunn manages most spine pathologies and performs surgeries of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions via anterior and posterior approaches as appropriate.  He has a particular interest and experience in spinal deformity both in adult sagittal imbalance and paediatric scoliosis.


He has performed over 4 500 spine surgeries as a consultant and one of the few nationally performing spine pedicle subtraction osteotomies and vertebral column resections.


In 2012 he was appointed to the prestigious Pieter Moll and Nuffield chair of Orthopaedic Surgery as the head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery University of Cape Town  and continues to run the services at Groote Schuur and Red Cross Children’s Hospitals.


He is well published with over 100 peer reviewed publications, the details of which can be accessed here.  He frequently lectures at national and international meetings in scientific sessions and invited keynote lectures including the SAOA FP Fouche, SA Spine Founders and Terblanche lectures.


He is involved with many associated organisations having been SA Spine President, SAOA EXCO member and currently 2nd VP, College of Medicine Treasurer, Board member and orthopaedic college president.  He is also a Scoliosis Research Society and AOSpine member, having served on their committees.


He established the Groote Schuur Acute Spinal Cord Injury Unit and Red Cross Children’s Hospital spinal deformity service.


In 2005 he started a Cape Town based spine fellowship and has trained 24 surgeons so far who have gone on to become leaders in their own right nationally and internationally.  His teaching was recently recognized with the UCT Distinguished teachers award competing with all university faculty.


Despite his involvement in all these areas, his passion is clinical spine practice, interacting with patients and improving their quality of life with appropriate surgery simultaneously training and mentoring junior staff to ensure sustainable high level spine care.

Rob Black tie 2017
CMSA grad 1905 Rob graduants
China 1906 Louhe spine symposium RD in action 2
Rob in theatre