Kaku Barkoh, M.D.

Dr. Kaku Barkoh is a spine surgeon specializing in minimally invasive and non-fusion surgical techniques. He has extensive training in minimally invasive cervical and lumbar decompressions, minimally invasive lumbar fusions, and cervical laminoplasty. He is also certified to implant cervical disc replacements. Dr. Barkoh believes most spine problems can be successfully treated with conservative, nonsurgical methods. But, when surgical intervention is needed, he utilizes the most advanced technology to perform minimally invasive procedures that allow patients to have a faster recovery with less post-operative pain.

"My passion is providing exceptional medical care. I carefully listen to my patients to understand their symptoms, how their symptoms impact their lives, and what their treatment goals are. The majority of patients can be treated with conservative, nonsurgical methods. Surgery is always the last option; but when necessary, I utilize minimally invasive techniques so patients have a faster recovery with less post-operative pain."

Treatment Focus

  • Nonsurgical and surgical treatments of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine

Special Procedure Expertise

  • Minimally invasive cervical foraminotomy
  • Cervical Laminoplasty
  • Cervical artificial disc replacement
  • Minimally invasive lumbar decompression
  • Minimally invasive microdiscectomy
  • Minimally invasive lumbar fusion


  • BS in Biology- Texas A&M University: Summa Cum Laude, Foundation Honors
  • MD- University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • Orthopaedic Surgery Residency- University of Tennessee-Campbell Clinic
  • Spine Fellowship- University of Southern California

Honors & Recognition

  • Texas A&M President’s Endowed Scholar
  • Texas A&M University Scholar
  • National Medical Association’s Emerging Scholars Award
  • Neil and Elaine Griffin Foundation Scholar
  • Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award
  • Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
  • Golden Key International Honor Society
  • AOSpine North America Fellow

Research, Publications, & Presentations

  • Barkoh K, Lucas J, Wang J. Masters of Spinal Surgery-Hall of Fame: Cervical Laminoplasty.
  • Dedeogulari E, Barkoh K, et al. Effect of mental health on post-operative infection rates following cervical spine fusion procedures.
  • Barkoh K, Lucas J, et al. Paraplegic patients: how to measure balance and what is normal or functional?
  • Jacobsen K, Lee L, Barkoh K, et al. ACDF vs. PCF: A retrospective study of dysphagia and aspiration pneumonia incidences by swallowing phase.
  • Paholpak P, Nazareth A, Barkoh K, et al. Space available for cord, motion, and disc degeneration at the adjacent segments level of degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis using kinematic MRI.
  • Paholpak P, Dedeogullari E, Tamai K, Barkoh K, et al. Correlation between the modic changes and facet osteoarthritis in lumbar spine.
  • Walters J, Barkoh K, et al. Comparison of outcomes of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty in patients younger than 65 years to those in patients older than 65 years. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. 2016 Sep; 25(9): 1418-1424.
  • Barkoh K, Mascioli A. Posterolateral Corner Reconstruction Using the Ipsilateral Anterior Tibial Tendon from a Concomitant Below-Knee Amputation. Campbell Orthopaedic Journal 2016;2:16-19.
  • Barkoh K, Warner Jr. W, et al. Does preoperative orientation and education alleviate anxiety in posterior spinal fusion patients? A prospective randomized study. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics 2015;35:276-279.
  • Barkoh K, Warner Jr. W, et al. Atypical neurologic deficits following ponte osteotomy and posterior spinal fusion for idiopathic scoliosis. Campbell Orthopaedic Journal 2015;1:55-61.
  • Hanson CM, Barkoh K, Rathjen KE. Functional outcome of adolescent tibia vara. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
  • “Effect of Mental Health on Post-Operative Infection Rates Following Cervical Spine Fusion Procedures”. Electronic Poster. Global Spine Congress. Milan, Italy, May 3-6, 2017.
  • “Correlation between Modic Changes and Facet Osteoarthritis in Lumbar Spine”. Poster Presentation. AOSpine North America Fellows Research Forum, Banff, Alberta, Canada, March 23-26, 2017.
  • “Do preoperative hospital tours alleviate anxiety in posterior spinal fusion patients? A prospective, randomized study”. Podium Presentation. Mid America Orthopaedic Association. San Antonio, Texas, April 23-27, 2014.
  • “Anxiety in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis undergoing posterior spinal fusion: A prospective study to identify effective intervention strategies.” Electronic Poster. Scoliosis Research Society, Lyon, France, September 18-21, 2013.

Doctor in the Community

Dr. Barkoh grew up in the Texas hill country. After graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, he went on to excel at Texas A&M University. During his collegiate career, Dr. Barkoh was selected as a University Scholar, President’s Endowed Scholar, and received several awards for his involvement in student organizations. Majoring in biology, he graduated summa cum laude with Foundation Honors. He then matriculated to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. There, he received the National Medical Association’s Emerging Scholar Award. Following medical school, he completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the renowned Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee where they literally write the foremost comprehensive orthopaedic textbook in the world, Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics. During residency, he had the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field of orthopaedic surgery as well as help provide care for the Memphis Redbirds, University of Memphis athletic teams, Memphis Grizzlies, and several area high school teams. Dr. Barkoh completed his spine fellowship training at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. This unique training opportunity allowed him to learn from both orthopaedic spine surgeons and neurosurgeons that are recognized internationally as pioneers in minimally invasive and cervical non-fusion surgical techniques.

Dr. Barkoh, his wife, and daughter are excited to join the community. When he’s not providing exceptional medical care to his patients, Dr. Barkoh enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and watching sports (especially Fightin’ Texas Aggie football!).