Conor O'Neill, MD

Title(s)Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address350 Parnassus Avenue, #400
San Francisco CA 94117
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    College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MNBA1981Biology
    Washington University School of Medicine,, St. Louis, MOMD1985
    Duke University Medical Center,, Durham, NCIntern1986Internal Medicine
    Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, MOResdiency1988Internal Medicine
    Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MAResdiency1991Anesthesiology

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    Specializing in diagnostic and non-surgical treatment for patients with chronic back and neck pain, Dr. Conor O'Neill has performed more than 40,000 back and neck interventional pain-management procedures over his career. Using a variety of methods, including both physical medicine and pain management, he works to enhance and restore functional ability and quality of life to patients with spinal disorders.

    Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology, and Pain Management, Dr. O'Neill also is an active researcher who has contributed to more than 100 articles and presentations. He also founded the California Spine Diagnostics Medical Group in San Francisco.

    At UCSF, he led the development of the Integrated Spine Service, a multidisciplinary team that includes non-operative spine and physical therapy providers. Dr. O'Neill's clinic is based at the UCSF Orthopedic Institute at the UCSF Mission Bay campus in San Francisco.

    Dr. O’Neill’s research is focused on improved diagnostics, innovative ways to treat back and neck pain, and developing new collaborative interdisciplinary models to treat back and neck pain.  With Jeffrey Lotz, Ph.D., he is leading UCSF REACH, the UCSF Core Center for Patient-centric, Mechanistic Phenotyping in Chronic Low Back Pain.  UCSF REACH has received NIH funding totaling more than $30 million to conduct both translational and clinical research to clarify biopsychosocial mechanisms of back pain – the interconnection between biology, biomechanics, psychology, and socio-environmental factors – which will catalyze new therapeutic, diagnostic and prevention strategies.  Other specific research projects include:

    Diagnosis of spinal pain. Dr. O’Neill has been involved in studies examining the utility of historical features, imaging (MRI and CT scans), and invasive studies in diagnosis of chronic low back pain.  Presently, he is a co-investigator on a study examining the usefulness of a novel MRI sequence in diagnosing a specific subgroup of discogenic pain.

    Biologic therapies for discogenic pain. Dr. O’Neill has collaborated with basic science faculty on studies investigating mechanisms of action of novel therapies for discogenic back pain.  He was the principle investigator for the San Francisco site of a now-completed multi-center phase III trial on the use of fibrin sealant for discogenic pain. He was also the principle investigator for the San Francisco site of a multi-center phase II trial on intra-discal injection of juvenile chondrocytes for low back pain.

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Predictors of response in PROMIS-global in a chronic low back pain specialty clinic: STarTBack and chronic overlapping pain conditions. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2024 Feb 01. Zheng P, Ewing S, Tang A, Black D, Hue T, Lotz J, Peterson T, Torres-Espin A, O'Neill C. PMID: 38427463.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    2. Preferences for risks and benefits of treatment outcomes for chronic low back pain: Choice-based conjoint measure development and discrete choice experiment. PM R. 2023 Dec 01. Wilson L, Denham A, Ionova Y, O'Neill C, Greco CM, Hassett AL, Hanmer J, Shaikh S, Wolf M, Berven S, Williams D, Ma Y, Lotz J, Zheng P. PMID: 38040670.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    3. The Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program Data Harmonization: Rationale for Data Elements and Standards. Pain Med. 2023 08 04; 24(Suppl 1):S95-S104. Batorsky A, Bowden AE, Darwin J, Fields AJ, Greco CM, Harris RE, Hue TF, Kakyomya J, Mehling W, O'Neill C, Patterson CG, Piva SR, Sollmann N, Toups V, Wasan AD, Wasserman R, Williams DA, Vo NV, Psioda MA, McCumber M. PMID: 36721327.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    4. The Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program: Structure, Research Priorities, and Methods. Pain Med. 2023 08 04; 24(Suppl 1):S3-S12. Mauck MC, Lotz J, Psioda MA, Carey TS, Clauw DJ, Majumdar S, Marras WS, Vo N, Aylward A, Hoffmeyer A, Zheng P, Ivanova A, McCumber M, Carson C, Anstrom KJ, Bowden AE, Dalton D, Derr L, Dufour J, Fields AJ, Fritz J, Hassett AL, Harte SE, Hue TF, Krug R, Loggia ML, Mageswaran P, McLean SA, Mitchell UH, O'Neill C, Pedoia V, Quirk DA, Rhon DI, Rieke V, Shah L, Sowa G, Spiegel B, Wasan AD, Wey HM, LaVange L. PMID: 36622041; PMCID: PMC10403298.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. Theoretical Schemas to Guide Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Chronic Low Back Pain Clinical Research. Pain Med. 2023 08 04; 24(Suppl 1):S13-S35. Chau A, Steib S, Whitaker E, Kohns D, Quinter A, Craig A, Chiodo A, Chandran S, Laidlaw A, Schott Z, Farlow N, Yarjanian J, Omwanghe A, Wasserman R, O'Neill C, Clauw D, Bowden A, Marras W, Carey T, Mehling W, Hunt CA, Lotz J. PMID: 36562563; PMCID: PMC10403312.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. CAPER: patient preferences to inform nonsurgical treatment of chronic low back pain: a discrete-choice experiment. Pain Med. 2023 08 01; 24(8):963-973. Wilson L, Zheng P, Ionova Y, Denham A, Yoo C, Ma Y, Greco CM, Hanmer J, Williams DA, Hassett AL, Scheffler AW, Valone F, Mehling W, Berven S, Lotz J, O'Neill C. PMID: 36975607.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. Deep-learning-based biomarker of spinal cartilage endplate health using ultra-short echo time magnetic resonance imaging. Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2023 May 01; 13(5):2807-2821. Bonnheim NB, Wang L, Lazar AA, Chachad R, Zhou J, Guo X, O'Neill C, Castellanos J, Du J, Jang H, Krug R, Fields AJ. PMID: 37179932; PMCID: PMC10167428.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4  
    8. Multi-domain biopsychosocial postoperative recovery trajectories associate with patient outcomes following lumbar fusion. Eur Spine J. 2023 04; 32(4):1429-1436. Halvorson RT, Torres-Espin A, Callahan M, Tay B, O'Neill C, Berven S, Lotz JC, Bailey JF. PMID: 36877367.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. ISSLS Prize in Bioengineering Science 2023: Age- and sex-related differences in lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration between patients with chronic low back pain and asymptomatic controls. Eur Spine J. 2023 05; 32(5):1517-1524. Bonnheim NB, Lazar AA, Kumar A, Akkaya Z, Zhou J, Guo X, O'Neill C, Link TM, Lotz JC, Krug R, Fields AJ. PMID: 36805320; PMCID: PMC10205694.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Toward a causal model of chronic back pain: Challenges and opportunities. Front Comput Neurosci. 2022; 16:1017412. Huie JR, Vashisht R, Galivanche A, Hadjadj C, Morshed S, Butte AJ, Ferguson AR, O'Neill C. PMID: 36714527; PMCID: PMC9874096.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2  
    11. Evidence-based interventions to treat chronic low back pain: treatment selection for a personalized medicine approach. Pain Rep. 2022 Sep-Oct; 7(5):e1019. Mauck MC, Aylward AF, Barton CE, Birckhead B, Carey T, Dalton DM, Fields AJ, Fritz J, Hassett AL, Hoffmeyer A, Jones SB, McLean SA, Mehling WE, O'Neill CW, Schneider MJ, Williams DA, Zheng P, Wasan AD. PMID: 36203645; PMCID: PMC9529058.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5  
    12. Influence of patient-specific factors when comparing multifidus fat infiltration between chronic low back pain patients and asymptomatic controls. JOR Spine. 2022 Dec; 5(4):e1217. Ballatori AM, Shahrestani S, Nyayapati P, Agarwal V, Krug R, Han M, Fields AJ, O'Neill C, Demir-Deviren S, Lotz JC, Bailey JF. PMID: 36601370; PMCID: PMC9799081.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1  
    13. The contributions of cartilage endplate composition and vertebral bone marrow fat to intervertebral disc degeneration in patients with chronic low back pain. Eur Spine J. 2022 07; 31(7):1866-1872. Bonnheim NB, Wang L, Lazar AA, Zhou J, Chachad R, Sollmann N, Guo X, Iriondo C, O'Neill C, Lotz JC, Link TM, Krug R, Fields AJ. PMID: 35441890; PMCID: PMC9252939.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
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