UCT Private Academic Hospital
UCT Private Academic Hospital

+27 (0)21 442 1800


Dunn Robert, Prof

Orthopaedic Surgeons
Dunn Robert, Prof

Dunn Robert, Prof

FCS (SA) Orth, MMed (UCT), MBChB(UCT)

Spine Surgery

Pieter Moll and Nuffield Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery: University of Cape Town
Head: Division of Orthopaedic Surgery
Head: Orthopaedic Spinal Services Groote Schuur Hospital / Red Cross Children's Hospital

Professor Dunn trained at UCT both as an undergraduate and specialist before travelling to London to obtain additional fellowship training in spine deformity surgery.  He returned to Groote Schuur Hospital in 2001 to run the spine service.  Here he increased the level of care in the unit where today there is a continuous stream of local and international fellows coming to learn from our clinical practice.

He established the regional Acute Spinal Injury Unit as well as the Red Cross Children’s Hospital deformity service during this time.

He has a particular interest in complex deformity, both in the adult and paediatric group, where he has extensive experience in osteotomy re-alignment surgery and the management of the various types of scoliosis.

In addition to personally performing in excess of 200 spine cases a year, he runs the UCT Department of Orthopaedics.  He has initiated local spine fellowship training and through this increased the access of patients to appropriate spine care.

He is an examiner and president of the College of Orthopaedic Surgeons, EXCO member of SA Orthopaedic Association, EXCO member and past president of SA Spine Society, reviewer for multiple international and local journals, Chairman of AOSpine SA Chapter, IGASS scientific board member and frequently lectures internationally

Private Practice

To ensure that patients requiring his specific expertise are seen timeously, he insists on a referral letter prior to arranging consultation as patients are prioritised on suitability and likelihood of requiring surgery.

His rates are based on practice costs associated with spine surgery.


  • SA Spine Society
  • SA Medical Society
  • Scoliosis Research Society
  • AOSpine


  • Paediatric and Adult deformity
  • Oncology / Infection

 For more information please visit: www.spinesurgery.co.za



  1. Thromboelastography to monitor the intra-operative effects of low molecular weight heparin following bridging anticoagulation in a child with normal renal function
    M. E. Casey, O. Hodges, R. Dunn and J. Thomas  Anaesthesia 2013, 68, 91–96 doi:10.1111/anae.12040
  2. Comparison of platelet count in tuberculosis spine to other spine pathology.
    K Daniel. RN Dunn          
    Eur Sp J DOI 10.1007/s00586-013-2859-5  online ahead of print July 2013
  3. Expert’s comment concerning Grand Rounds case entitled “Temporary occipitocervical stabilization of an unilateral occipital condyle fracture”
    RN Dunn  Eur Spine J 2012 Jan Vol 1(1) epub ahead of print (DOI 10.1007/s00586-012-2265-4)
  4. Paediatric atlanto occipital dissociation: radiographic findings and clinical outcome
    J-P du Plessis, S Dix-Peek,EB Hoffman,N Wieselthaler
    Evidence-Based Spine-Care Journal 2012; 3(1): 19-26
  5. MRI findings of spinal tuberculosis: a comparison of HIV positive and negative patients
    C Anley, RN Dunn
    Indian Journal of Orthopaedics March 2012; Vol. 46(2): 186-190
  6. Spinal Tuberculosis:  Magnetic resonance imaging and neurological impairment
    Dunn RN, Zondagh I.  SPINE 2011 March 15; 36(6): 469–473
  7. Case report: Cauda equina compression by hydrogel dural sealant following a laminotomy and discectomy.
    Mulder M, Crosier J, Dunn RN.  SPINE 2009 Feb 15;34(4):E144-8. PMID: 19214084
  8. Ischiopagus and pygopagus conjoined twins: neurosurgical considerations.
    G Fieggen, R Dunn, R Pitcher, A Miller, H Rode, J Peter.  Childs Nerv Syst (2004) 20:640-651
  9. Pars spondylosis – direct repair in adolescents
    RN Dunn.  Evidence Based Spine Surgery (AOSpine) Sept 2007 3 (3) 25-33
  10. Non-contiguous Spinal Tuberculosis – incidence and management
    Polley P, Dunn RN.  European Spinal Journal 2009 18:1096-1101
  11. Stab injuries of the Spinal Cord: A retrospective study of clinical findings and MRI changes.
    Jacobsohn M, Semple P, Dunn, RN, Candy S.  Neurosurgery Dec 2007 Vol 61 Issue 6 pg 1262-7


  1. Atlanto-axial fusion: Magerl transarticular versus Harms instrumentation techniques
    Dunn RN, Stander H.  SA Ortho J 2014: 13(2): 31-4
  2. Instrumentation of the paediatric cervical spine
    Dunn, RN, Botha AH.  SAOJ 2014 vol 13(1):44-49
  3. Assessing Musculoskeletal Training in South Africa
    Dachs R; Roche S; Vrettos B; MacIntyre K; Currin B, Kruger N; Walters J, Dunn R.  SAOJ accepted Jan 2014
  4. Neuromuscular scoliosis - surgical management and outcomes
    A Puddu, R Dunn              SAOJ Winter 2013 vol 12(2):53-59
  5. Traumatic spondylolisthesis of the axis: surgical indications and outcomes
    A vd Horst, S Lippross, R Dunn    SAOJ Winter 2013 vol 12(2):46-52
  6. Anterior surgical correction of thoracolumbar and lumbar scoliosis: efficacy and morbidity
    RP Dachs, RN Dunn  SAOJ March 2013 vol 12(1): 25-9
  7. Limited pedicle screw constructs in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis surgery and clinical correlation
    Davis, JH and Dunn, RN  SAOJ March 2013 vol 12(1).17-21
    ISSN 1681-150X
  8. An Unusual case of transabdominal transdiscal stab wound to the spine
    M Held, M Laubscher, N Kruger, P Navsaria, R Dunn
    SAOJ 2012 Summer Vol 11(4): 61-64
  9. Bell’s cruciate paralysis: a rare neurological diagnosis
    M Laubscher, P Naude, M Held, RN Dunn, N Kruger
    SAOJ 2012 Summer Vol 11(4): 43-7
  10. Posterior vertebral column resection for severe spinal deformities
    S Abdullah, N Enrico, RN Dunn SAOJ 2012 Summer Vol 11(4): 21-6
  11. The value of CRP in infection
    RN Dunn.  SAOJ 2012 Autumn Vol 11(1): 49 - 51
  12. Clearing the cervical spine
    RN Dunn.  CME 2011 Sept Vol 29(9): 373-4
  13. Brachialgia: cervical radiculopathy and differential diagnosis
    RN Dunn CME 2011 Sept Vol 29(9): 359-362
  14. Spondylolytic spondylolisthesis: surgical management of adult presentation
    AJ Vlok, RN Dunn  SAOJ 2011 Vol 10(3): 85-89
  15. Anterior only transthoracic surgery for adult spinal tuberculosis
    B Riemer, RN Dunn  SAOJ 2011 Vol 10(3): 43 – 47
  16. Ethics of Billing – determining one’s value
    RN Dunn, SAOJ 2011 10(2): 20-25
  17. Cervical PEEK cage standalone fusion – the issue of subsidence
    RN Dunn, C Pretorius SAOJ 2011 10(1): 25-29
  18. Surgery for myelopathy in spinal deformity
    B Garrett, RN Dunn.  SAOJ 2011 10(1) 30-34
  19. Postoperative ophthalmic complication– what’s the diagnosis?
    RN Dunn.  SAOJ Summer 2010 9(4) 71-7
  20. Occipito-cervical fusion:  Review of surgical indications, techniques and clinical outcomes.  S Bick, RN Dunn.  SAOJ Summer 2010 9(4) 26-32
  21. Shallow-water spinal injuries – devastating but preventable
    A J Vlok, I Petersen, R N Dunn, J Stander S Afr Med J 2010; 100: 682-684.
  22. Spinal deformity in Neurofibromatosis
    Nortje MB, Dunn RN SAOJ Spring 2010 9 (3)31-34
  23. Known primary with secondary disease; is tissue diagnosis necessary?
    Vlok AJ, Dunn RN SAOJ 2010 9 (3) 35-36
  24. Medical Management of Spinal Tuberculosis
    Dunn RN.  SAOJ Autumn 2010 9(1) 37-41
  25. The surgical management of spinal tuberculosis in children and adolescents
    Reid C, Dunn RN.  SAOJ  8 (4) 2009:  56-62
  26. BokSmart: medical management of suspected serious acute spinal cord injuries in rugby players
    Dunn RN  SAJSM vol 21 No. 3 2009:91-96
  27. Rugby spinal injuries has anything changed - A 5 year review in the Western Cape
    Dunn RN, VD Spuy D       SAMJ 2010 100: 235-8
  28. Optimising safety in the Spine theatre
    Dunn RN              SAOJ Spring 8(3) 2009:  33-39
  29. Cervical tuberculosis: review of 18 cases
    Polley P, Dunn RN            SAOJ SAOJ Winter 2009 8(2) 63-67
  30. Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF): assessment of clinical and radiological outcome  Jacobsohn MJ, Dunn RN              SAOJ  Autumn 2009 8(1) 26-31
  31. Bifacet dislocations of cervical spine: acute management and outcome
    Du Toit AB and R Dunn.                 SAOJ 2008           7(4) 30-36
  32. Short segment posterior instrumentation of thoracolumbar fractures as standalone treatment
    Davis J, Dunn RN SAOJ Winter 2009 8(2) 68 – 74
  33. Pressure sores in Spinal cord injury: active intervention saves costs
    Stander J, M Swanepoel, Dunn RN SA Critical Care Journal July 2008 24 (1) 8-12
  34. Lumbar fusion – indications and surgical options
    Dunn RN SAOJ Autumn 2008 7(1) 8-12
  35. Unifacet cervical fractures
    Storm M, Dunn RN – SAOJ Spring 2007 6(3) 14-22
  36. Spinal Tuberculosis: Diagnostic biopsy in mandatory
    Dunn RN, Zondagh I.  SAMJ May 2008; 98(5);360-2
  37. Management of degenerative cervical disc disease.
    M Maree, RN Dunn.  SAOJ Autumn 2007: Vol 6:2:10-16
  38. Dens screws – are they as good as cut out to be?
    R von Bornmann, K Steyn, RN Dunn
    Accepted SAOJ for Spring edition 2007
  39. Physeal bar resection for partial growth plate arrest.
    Hobbs, Dix-Peek, RN Dunn, Wieselthaler N, Hoffman EB
    SAOJ Summer 2007, Vol 6 no 1:52-60
  40. Thoracolumbar trauma: Indications and results of surgical management.
    RN Dunn. SAOJ Spring 2006: Vol 5, no 4: 34-41
  41. Juvenile scoliosis – not always idiopathic.  The value of an MRI.
    I Zondagh, RN Dunn.   SAOJ Spring 2006, Vol 5, no 4: 46-48
  42. Cervical injury outcome – a review of 101 cases
    K Frielingsdorf, RN Dunn  SAMJ March 2007:vol 97, no 3 p 203-207
  43. Transarticular screw fixation of the atlanto-axial spine: a safe and effective option
    RN Dunn, R Ombachi,  SAOJ August 2006, Vol5, no, 34-41
  44. Metastatic Disease of the Spine
    RN Dunn SAOJ May 2006
  45. Surgical management of Neuromuscular scoliosis
    E Liebenberg, RN Dunn
    SA Orthopaedic Journal, Vol 4 no 2, Nov 2005, 26 - 35
  46. Gunshot injuries of the spine - a review of 49 cases managed at the Groote Schuur Acute Spinal Cord Injury Unit
    Le Roux, J.C.; Dunn, R.N.
    South African Journal of Surgery, Vol 43, Issue 4, Nov 2005 p.165-168
  47. Atlanto-axial tuberculosis: a report of five cases
    RPB von Bormann, RN Dunn
    SA Orthopaedic Journal, Vol 4 no 2, May 2005, 34-39
  48. Lumbar arthroplasty – where are we at present
    RN Dunn, D Welsh
    SA Orthopaedic Journal, Vol 3 no3, August 2004, 34-39
  49. Dupuytren’s Contractures - release surgery
    RN Dunn SA Bone and Joint Surgery, Vol. X:1,March 2000, 26-29
  50. Giant Cell Tumour as cause of trigger finger at the wrist
    RN Dunn  SA Orthopaedic Journal Vol 1 No 1 Page 54 – 55

Tel. 021 442 1801