Richard Kahmann, MD


Richard Kahmann, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon - Spine Specialty
  • Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Spine Fellowship Trained in Orthopedic Surgery
  • Low Back pain - Sciatica
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Lumbar Radiculopathy
  • Cervical Radiculopathy
  • Herniated Discs
  • Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
  • Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery METRx
  • Minimally Invasive TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion)
  • Artificial Cervical Disc Replacement

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Dr. Richard Kahmann is a distinguished, board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic spine surgeon specializing in the treatment and care of disorders and deformities of the spine. He has been a leading partner of Santa Barbara Orthopedic Associates since 1989. Dr. Kahmann has dedicated his career to improving patient care through the advancement of new and better treatments and technology for spine surgery. He has continuously introduced innovative techniques in treating his patients. Dr. Kahmann is an expert in disc replacement, minimally invasive METRx techniques and image guided surgery. He is an expert in the treatment of cervical myelopathy, cervical and lumbar degenerative disc disease, spinal stabilization and fusion for traumatic and degenerative spinal instability and deformity. Dr. Kahmann brings the expertise necessary to evaluate and, if required, treat disorders of spinal alignment such as scoliosis or imbalance. Dr. Kahmann has advanced training in minimally invasive techniques which spare the muscle when surgically accessing the spine using METRx image guided surgery. Traditional, open spine surgery involves cutting or stripping the muscles from the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery involves a small incision or incisions and muscle dilation, allowing the surgeon to separate the muscles surrounding the spine rather than cutting them. Research has proven that minimally invasive spine surgery is both safe and effective. Patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery benefit dramatically over those who received open spine surgery. Patients require less recovery time and reduced hospital stays due to reduced trauma of muscles and soft tissues surrounding the spine. In fact, the majority of Dr. Kahmann’s spine surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis. His patients’ satisfaction is apparent from numerous online testimonials. Dr. Kahmann operates at both Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and the Santa Barbara Surgery Center. Dr. Kahmann graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.A. in Biology. He received his Medical Degree at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Kahmann is one of a select group of American doctors elected to the Medical Honors Society Alpha Omega Alpha. Dr. Kahmann subsequently completed his surgical internship at the University of California, San Diego, and Orthopedic Residency at the University of California Orthopedic Hospital Research Center at UCLA. After residency, Dr. Kahmann furthered his training in an intensive fellowship program with the highly acclaimed John H. Moe spine fellowship at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Spine Center - one of only 16 spine programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) - under the Director David S. Bradford M.D. This broad base of experience in well-established and new cutting-edge techniques has given Dr. Kahmann a unique skill set in patient care for high-quality treatment both surgical and non-surgical. A leader in his field, Dr. Kahmann is board-certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and clinical research papers at national and international meetings. He has given presentations on new treatment techniques for spinal trauma, disorders and deformities of the spine, scoliosis in adolescents and the deformities of the adult and adolescent spine. Dr. Kahmann is a member of several academic and scientific organizations such as the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the North American Spine Society (NASS), the California Orthopedic Association (COA), the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). Dr. Kahmann maintains his expertise as a spine surgeon by regularly attending national and international spine conferences keeping current with research in orthopedic surgery and disorders of the spine. When not practicing state of the art medicine, you can find Dr. Kahmann spending time with his family, hiking, skiing, golfing or flying.


  • This doctor is the best Orthopedic doctor around. I did my homework searching for the best of the best and he by far is outstanding. I had back surgery about a year ago. I lived in pain for quite sometime and only because I didn't want to have surgery by doctors that would wind up hurting me more than helping me. I know several people who have had surgery on their backs by various doctors and they still suffer. I can't say that. My surgery went very well and I was up and walking the very next day. Ten days later, I was dancing and have never suffered a set back. I would recommend Dr. Richard Kahmann anytime and anyday to anyone who wants the best.

    Blanca S. Santa Maria, Calif
  • Dr.Kahmann continues to be the best of the best. He did a huge spinal fusion on me as a teenager and it saved my life. Recently, he did another smaller surgery and I believe it saved me from losing my ability to walk. I think he is an excellent surgeon and a fantastic man in general. I would recommend him to anybody. I live in Bakersfield and if it wasn't for this man and his skills, I would never travel all the way to Santa Barbara and back in one day. He is amazing.

    Heidi B. Bakersfield, Calif
  • I went to see Dr. Kahmann after I had a MRI of my neck. I was nervous going in, but the minute he came into the exam room he was just really easy to talk to, he didn't want to look at the MRI right away, he was more concerned about listening to me describe the issues I was experiencing, he did a extensive examination explaining everything in easy to understand terms, he formed his conclusion and shared it with me than he says let's see what the MRI says. He gave me three choices, do nothing, aggressive surgery or conservative surgery and what to expect in the long run from each choice. I felt he put me in charge of the choices and he just wanted to facilitate my choice. The surgery went well, I was introduced to the whole surgical team before surgery, after surgery it was like the red carpet treatment. It is obvious he treats the hospital staff really well they all had good things to say about Dr. Kahmann and they appreciate working with him, they treated me really well. Recovery was just as he predicted which is nice to know what to expect. Dr. Kahmann thank you for your help. Paul Goetz, Ojai

    Paul Goetz Ojai Calif
  • I needed emergency surgery on two herniated discs and Dr. Kahmann was my personal life saver. We had a consultation which was short and productive, where he assessed my back and my MRI and then he explained to me, in human terms, what was wrong with my back and what he could do for it. The next day I had surgery and it all went more than smoothly. I woke up completely pain free and I haven't had pain in my legs or even lower back since. On the pain scale I went from being a 10 to a 0 and I'm not exaggerating. The only pain I have is from the incision site which is healing quickly. THANK YOU DR. KAHMANN!

    Mia B. San Francisco

Hospital Affiliations


  • Medical / Professional School:

    University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine

  • Undergraduate:

  • Fellowship:

    University of Minnesota Program

    Orthopaedic surgery

  • Residency:

    University of California-Los Angeles

    Orthopaedic surgery

  • Internship:

    University of California (San Diego) Medical Center Program

    Orthopaedic surgery