Dr. Rick Wupperman is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specialized in diagnosing and treating the full spectrum of spinal disorders.

A former physical therapist, he has a special expertise in minimally invasive approaches to scoliosis surgery and correction of other spinal deformities. "Not all spinal conditions lend themselves to less invasive forms of surgery," he said. "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 Alpha Honor Society. He then completed an orthopedic surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2007. In 2008, he completed a combined orthopedic and neurosurgical spine fellowship at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, and has practiced spine surgery in Austin since that time.

Prior to medical school, Dr. Wupperman worked seven years as a physical therapist. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1991, and was awarded the Outstanding Clinical Educator Award from the Texas Consortium on Physical Therapy in 1997.

As a former physical therapist, Dr. Wupperman tends toward a conservative approach for most spinal disorders. Treatments may include activity modification, various forms of therapy, medications, and injections. "In rare urgent cases, or when conservative measures have failed, surgery at times becomes the best option," he said.

A leading practitioner of the minimally invasive surgical technique "Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion," Dr. Wupperman is a faculty member of the Society of Lateral Access Surgery and frequent speaker on the topic. He co-authored the chapter "XLIF with Pedicle Screw Fixation" in the textbook eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®), published 2013.

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

He is married with one child and enjoys a wide variety of family activities.

Here's what patients are saying about Dr. Wupperman


Medical School
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX

Orthopedic: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN

Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Spine Fellowship: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


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



Languages Spoken


Procedures & Conditions

  • Spinal Surgery: Cervical, Thoracic & Lumbar
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Deformities
  • Disc Replacement


Orthopaedic Surgery
Spine Surgery

Office Locations

Central Austin Office
3000 N IH 35
Suite 708
Austin, TX 78705
Phone: (512) 347-7463