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Dr Yu Chao Lee

MBBS, FRACS (Ortho), FAOrthA Spinal Surgeon

Dr Yu Chao Lee is an Australian and Internationally trained Spinal Surgeon who consults and treats all spinal conditions including degenerative spine disease of the lumbar and cervical spine, spinal deformity, spinal tumour and spinal trauma.

Specialising in
  • Spine
Dr Lee has a special interest in minimally-invasive surgery and utilises muscle sparing techniques for treating adult degenerative spinal disease and spinal deformity.

Dr Lee graduated from the University of Adelaide and obtained his specialist qualification in Orthopaedic Surgery from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Following the conclusion of his surgical training, he went on to complete subspecialist fellowship training in adult and paediatric spine locally in Adelaide before travelling to the United Kingdom to undertake another year of subspecialist fellowship training in complex adult spinal deformity, revision spinal surgery and spinal tumour surgery in Europe’s largest spine deformity surgery centre at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London. Dr Lee has extensive experience in the latest minimally-invasive techniques for spinal fusion and is proficient with computer navigated spine surgery. Dr Lee is committed to providing high quality clinical care of patients through evidenced based practice. He has published numerous research articles in the field of spinal surgery in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences

Specialising in

  • Spine

Consulting / Operating Locations

  • Memorial Medical Centre

    Orthopaedics SA

    (08) 8267 8267

  • St Andrew's Hospital

    Orthopaedics SA

  • Western Hospital

    Orthopaedics SA

Additional Information

Privately, Dr Lee practices with Orthopaedics SA at the Memorial Medical Centre, Parkside and Calvary Central Districts.

Spinal Surgical Fellowship

  • Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, Stanmore, United Kingdom
    • Complex Adult Deformity Correction
    • Paediatric Deformity Correction
    • Revision Spinal Surgery
    • Tumour Spinal Surgery
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide
    •  Degenerative Spinal Surgery
    • Spinal Trauma and Spinal Cord Injury
    • Paediatric Deformity Correction


Orthopaedic Surgical Training

  • Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA) and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • South Australian and Northern Territory Based:
    • Royal Adelaide Hospital
    • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
    • Flinders Medical Centre
    • Royal Darwin Hospital


Orthopaedic Service Registrar

  • Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • Flinders Medical Centre
  • Lyell McEwin Hospital


Pre-surgical Training

  • Lyell McEwin Hospital



  • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital


Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB BS)

  • The University of Adelaide
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA)
  • Spine Society of Australia (SSA)
  • British Association of Spine Surgeons (BASS)
  • 2019 Margorie Hooper Travel Scholarship, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • 2018 Rob Johnston Award for best podium presentation by clinician at Spine Society Meeting Australia
  • 2017 Travelling Fellow Speaker to the Annual Congress of the 61st Korean Orthopaedic Association (Representing the Australian Orthopaedic Association)
  • 2016 Exceptional Performance in Orthopaedic Training, Australian Orthopaedic Association
  • 2006 The Ian Fuller Prize, for Outstanding Student Performance in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Adelaide
  • 2006 Paediatric Surgery Prize for Outstanding Student Performance in Paediatric Surgery, University of Adelaide
  • 2005 Orthopaedic Surgery Prize, for Outstanding Student Performance in
    Orthopedics and Trauma, University of Adelaide
  • 2003-2004 Faculty of Health Sciences Research Scholarship, University of Adelaide
  • Minimally invasive stabilization for thoracolumbar and lumbar fractures: a comparative study with short segment open Schanz screw constructs.
    Yu Chao Lee, Michael Selby, Mario Zotti, Deb Roy, Brian Freeman. Journal of Spine Surgery. 2019 Mar;5(1):13-18.
  • Minimally invasive stabilization of the fractured ankylosed spine: a comparative case series study.
    Francis Brooks, Matthew Rackham, Ben Williams, Deb Roy, Yu Chao Lee, Michael Selby. Journal of Spine Surgery. 2018 Jun;4(2):168-172.
  • Traumatic subaxial cervical facet subluxation and dislocation: epidemiology, radiographic analyses, and risk factors for spinal cord injury.
    Ryan D. Quarrington, Claire F. Jones, Petar Tcherveniakov, Jillian M. Clark, Simon J.I. Sandler, Yu Chao Lee, Shabnam Torabiardakani, John J. Costi, Brian J.C. Freeman. The Spine Journal. 2018 Mar;18(3):387-398.
  • Most Cited Publications in Cervical Spine Surgery.
    Yu Chao Lee, Francis Brooks, Simon Sandler, Yun-Hom Yau, Michael Selby, Brian Freeman. International Journal of Spine Surgery 2017;11:19.
  • Operative Management of Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
    Yu Chao Lee, Mario Giuseppe Tedesco Zotti, Orso Lorenzo Osti. Asian Spine Journal. 2016 Aug;10(4):801-19.
  • Confirmation of microevolutionary increase in spina bifida occulta among Swiss birth cohorts.
    Yu Chao Lee, Lucian Bogdan Solomon, Frank Jakobus Rühli, Regula Schiess, Lena Öhrström, Thomas Sullivan, Hatem Alkadhi, Maciej Henneberg. European Spine Journal. 2011 May;20(5):776-80.
  • Secular trend in the opening of the sacral canal: an Australian study.
    Lucian Solomon, Frank Rühli, Yu Chao Lee, Maciej Henneberg. Spine. 2009 Feb 1;34(3):244-8.
  • Reconstruction of Chronic Foveal TFCC Tears with an Autologous Tendon Graft.
    Gregory I. Bain, Kevin Eng, Yu Chao Lee, Duncan Mcguire, Matthias Zumstein. Journal of Wrist Surgery. 2015 Feb;4(1):9-14.
  • Anatomic foveal reconstruction of the triangular fibrocartilage complex with a tendon graft.
    Gregory Bain, Duncan McGuire, Yu Chao Lee, Kevin Eng, Matthias Zumstein. Techniques in Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery. 2014 Jun;18(2):92-7.
  • Cable-augmented, quad ligament tenodesis scapholunate reconstruction: rationale, surgical technique, and preliminary results.
    Gregory Bain, Adam Watts, James McLean, Yu Chao Lee, Kevin Eng. Techniques in Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery. 2013 Mar;17(1):13-9.
  • Posterolateral and anterolateral approaches to unicondylar posterolateral tibial plateau fractures: a comparative study.
    Lucian B. Solomon, Aaron W. Stevenson, Yu Chao Lee, Robert P.V. Baird, Donald W. Howie. Injury. 2013 Nov;44(11):1561-8.
  • Repair of the acutely unstable elbow: use of tensionable anchors.
    Yu Chao Lee, Kevin Eng, Angus Keogh, James McLean, Gregory Bain. Techniques in Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery. 2012 Dec;16(4):225-9.
  • The effect of hip position on the length of trochanteric muscles: potential implications for early postoperative management of hip arthroplasty.
    Yu Chao Lee, Stuart A. Callary, Donald W. Howie, Dominic Thewlis, Lucian B. Solomon. Journal of Arthroplasty. 2012 Jun;27(6):953-60.
  • Anatomy of piriformis, obturator internus and obturator externus: implications for the posteriorsurgical approach to the hip.
    Lucian B. Solomon, Yu Chao Lee, Stuart A. Callary, Martin Beck, Donald W. Howie. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume. 2010 Sep;92(9):1317-24.