Complex Spine Surgery

Rex A.W. Marco, MD

Dr. Marco's mission is to provide his patients with compassionate and comprehensive care with the best possible outcomes. Through his years of experience, he has developed relationships with some of the finest physicians and healthcare professionals in their fields. He has assembled an elite multidisciplinary oncology team to comprehensively treat his patients with bone and soft tissue tumors including adult and pediatric radiation and medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, and reconstructive surgeons. Dr. Marco also has a similarly impressive team of physical therapists and physical medicine/rehabilitation specialists for his patients with disorders of the spine.

Born and raised in California, Dr. Marco completed his pre-med studies at the University of California at Irvine where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Following college, Dr. Marco completed a research fellowship at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute – National Institutes of Health and later received his Medical Degree from the UCLA School of Medicine. He followed medical school with an internship at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle and then completed his orthopaedic surgery residency training at The University of California – Davis Medical Center. Dr. Marco had a deep interest in spine surgery, but also had a passion for oncology and treating patients with orthopaedic cancers. He decided to double-specialize and completed two fellowships. The first was a musculoskeletal oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He later completed a spine surgery fellowship at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Marco is one of the only surgeons in the world with training and expertise in the treatment of patients with complex spinal disorders and musculoskeletal tumors.

Dr. Marco started his career as a spine surgeon and musculoskeletal oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston in 2000. He is now a Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, where he is also the Chief of Spine Surgery and Musculoskeletal Oncology. Dr. Marco also has faculty appointments with Baylor College of Medicine – Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rice University – Department of Bioengineering, and the Weill Cornell Medical College/Methodist Hospital Orthopaedic Surgery Residency. Additionally, he is Co-Director of the Spine Service at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Houston.

Dr. Marco is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. His professional affiliations include memberships in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Scoliosis Research Society, North American Spine Society, Cervical Spine Research Society, and the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society. Since 2007, spine and orthopaedic surgeons have selected Dr. Marco as one of the most trusted doctors in their field as represented by their decision to honor him as one of the “Best Doctors” in America.

With over 25 years of combined training and experience, Dr. Marco believes it is a privilege and his duty to train future orthopaedic and spine surgeons. He is the Director of The Texas Medical Center Spine Fellowship and has trained 15 spine fellows that have become outstanding spine surgeons. Dr. Marco has also trained and mentored dozens of orthopaedic surgery residents with The Univeristy of Texas Medical School at Houston, Baylor College of Medicine, Scott & White, and The Methodist Hospital orthopaedic surgery residency programs. Dr. Marco is active in medical research to advance the fields of spine surgery and orthopaedic oncology. He is credited with more than 130 presentations and medical journal and textbook publications.

An avid snowboarder, Dr. Marco volunteers for USSA as a team physician for the US Ski and Snowboard Teams. In his spare time he can usually be found on a baseball field with one of his three sons, where he is better known as “Coach Marco”.