Ali A. Baaj, MD's portrait
Ali A. Baaj, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery
Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
New York, NY
Dr. Baaj is a member of the SpineUniverse Editorial Board.

About Ali A. Baaj, MD

Dr. Baaj is a Neurosurgeon and Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University in New York. He specializes in spinal surgery and has advanced training and expertise in spinal oncology and complex reconstructive surgery for spinal deformity.

Dr. Baaj received his medical degree from Boston University College of Medicine. He completed a general surgical internship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore followed by a neurosurgical residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Dr. Baaj advanced his training as a Research Fellow at the Spinal Biomechanics Laboratory at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix and as a Complex Spine Fellow at Johns Hopkins, with an emphasis on advanced techniques in spinal tumor resection and spinal reconstruction. Furthermore, Dr. Baaj completed a two-month traveling fellowship in Paris studying advanced techniques for pediatric deformity and scoliosis, with an emphasis on neuromuscular and idiopathic scoliosis.

Dr. Baaj is a prolific author of more than 100 abstracts and manuscripts. He is the author of many book chapters with emphasis on spinal anatomy, minimally invasive spine surgery, and advanced surgical techniques. He serves on the editorial boards of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery and the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques. He is a peer reviewer for these journals as well as for the European Spine Journal and the International Journal of Spine Surgery. Dr. Baaj is also the lead editor of the Handbook of Spine Surgery, now in its 2nd edition.

Articles Written by Ali A. Baaj, MD

Decompression Surgery Indirectly Improves Glycemic Control in Patients with Diabetes and Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) had significant reductions in hemoglobin A1C levels following decompression surgery for the treatment of lumbar spinal stenosis, according to a prospective cohort study published online ahead of print in The Spine Journal.

Chronic Back and Neck Pain in America—Snapshot of Survey Results

Whether you participated in the SpineUniverse Chronic Back Pain in America survey in 2015 or not you may find the results quite interesting. In fact, if you have back and/or neck pain, some of the results may be familiar to you because people with chronic spine-related pain have much in common!

Case Studies Presented by Ali A. Baaj, MD

Thoracolumbar Junction Osteomyelitis with Kyphotic Deformity

Presented by: A. Baaj MD, J. Uribe MD, D. Smith MD
The patient is a 54-year-old woman with a prior history of IV drug abuse. She was hospitalized in 2007 with spinal osteomyelitis at T11-T12. This was treated with IV antibiotics. She was admitted multiple times in the last several months for chronic refractory osteomyelitis (MRSA on biopsy) at T11-L1 despite prolonged courses of antiobiotics.

Severe L5 Burst Fracture

Presented by: A. Baaj MD
This young adult presented with severe lower back pain, bowel and bladder incontinence, and no movement in his right foot following a motor vehicle accident.

Minimally Invasive Treatment of Adjacent Segment Disease

Presented by: A. Baaj MD
An elderly female presents two years after an open L4-S1 surgery at an outside institution with progressive mechanical back pain and neurogenic claudication. She had attempted non-operative measures with minimal relief.

Metastatic Tumor to the Spine: Compression and Instability

Presented by: A. Baaj MD
The patient is a 44-year-old woman with a prior history of left-sided nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. She presented 6 months later with acute mechanical back pain and intermittent urinary incontinence.

C1-C2 Fracture with Atlantoaxial Subluxation

Halo, Anterior Approach, Posterior Approach?
Presented by: A. Baaj MD

Spine case: an 87-year-old man presents after being struck by a car. Work-up reveal C1-C2 fracture: how would you treat him?

Articles Reviewed by Ali A. Baaj, MD

Number of Cervical Spine Surgeries Increased in the Last Decade

The number of cervical spine surgeries increased significantly in the last decade, irrespective of the 2008 U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning on use of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) for these procedures, according to a retrospective database analysis published in "Spine." Ali Baaj, MD provides commentary.

Financial Disclosures

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Author's Statement

I, the undersigned, declare that neither I nor members of my immediate family have a financial interests or affiliation with commercial companies whose products and / or services may be mentioned in the materials I have authored, edited or reviewed for presentation on Vertical Health, LLC’s websites.