Daniel Refai, MD

    Associate Professor

    Emory University Department of Neurosurgery

    Associate Professor

    Emory University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

    Director of Spinal Oncology

    Emory Spine Center


    • BS, Tufts University, 1997
    • Fentress Research Fellowship , University of Chicago, 2002
    • MD, University of Chicago, 2003
    • General Surgery Internship, Washington University, 2004
    • Neurosurgical Registrar, Beaumont Hospital - Ireland, 2008
    • Neurosurgical Residency, Washington University, 2009
    • Spine Surgery Fellowship, Cleveland Clinic, 2010



    • National Football League (NFL) Southeastern Spine Consultant, 2014
    • Washington University Resident of the Year Award for Teaching, 2009
    • Department of Neurosurgery Resident Teaching Award, 2007
    • Barnes Jewish Hospital Caring Spirit Award, 2005
    • Pritzker Student Teaching Award, 2003
    • Association for Academic Surgery Research Award, 2003
    • University of Chicago AΩA Honorary Medical Society, 2002
    • Cumming Foundation Scholarship for Multiple Sclerosis Research, 2002
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institutes of Health Advanced Research Scholar, 2000-01

    Clinical Focus

    • Cervical fusion
    • Arthroplasty
    • Discectomy
    • Herniated disc
    • Laminectomy
    • Laminoplasty
    • Lumbar disorders, decompression and fusion
    • Microdiscectomy
    • Microsurgery
    • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion
    • Radiculopathy
    • Sciatica
    • Scoliosis
    • Spine: implants; pain; stenosis; surgery; trauma; tumors
    • Spondylolisthesis
    • Thoracic fusion
    • Vertebral fractures
    • Oncology

    Society Memberships

    • National Football League, Unaffliated Neurotrauma Consultant, 2014
    • Georgia Neurosurgical Society, 2010
    • North American Spine Society, 2009
    • American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 2003
    • Congress of Neurological Surgeons, 2003


    • Howard BM, Eshraghi SR, Holland CM, Refai D, Octyl-cyanoacrylate skin adhesive is effective for wound closure in posterior spinal surgery without increased risk of wound complications. Clinical Neurology Neurosurgery; 2014 Oct; 125:137-42.
    • Benzel EC, Zhang DH, Iannotti C, Refai D, Ruggieri P, Krishnaney A. Occipitocervical fusion in an infant with atlantooccipital dislocation. World Neurosurgery. 2012 Dec; 78(6):715. e17-24.
    • Almandoz JED, Jagadeesan BD, Refai D, Moran CJ, Cross DT, Chicoine MR, Rich, KM, Diringer MN, Dacey RG, Derdeyn CP, Zipfel GJ. Diagnostic yield of CT and MR angiography in patients with catheter angiography negative subarachnoid hemorrhage. Journal of Neurosurgery. 2012 Aug; 117(2):309-15.
    • Almandoz JED, Jagadeesan BD, Refai D, Moran CJ, Cross DT, Chicoine MR, Rich, KM, Diringer MN, Dacey RG, Derdeyn CP, Zipfel GJ. Diagnostic yield of repeat catheter angiography in patients with catheter and CT angiography negative subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neurosurgery. 2012 May; 70(5):1135-42.
    • Refai D, Zanier ER, Zipfel GJ, Zoerle T, Longhi L, Esparza TJ, Spinner ML, Bateman RJ, Brody DL, Stocchetti N. Neurofilament light chain levels in ventricular cerebrospinal fluid following acute aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. 2011 February; 82(2):157-9.
    • Refai D, Shin JH, Iannotti C, Benzel EC. Dorsal approaches to intradural extramedullary tumors of the craniovertebral junction. J Craniovertebral Junction & Spine. 2010 Jan; 1(1): 49-54.
    • Zipfel GJ, Shah MN, Refai D, Dacey RG, Derdeyn CP. Cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: modification of angiographic classification scales based on new natural history data. Neurosurgery Focus. 2009 May; 26(5): E14.
    • Strom RG, Botros J, Refai D, Moran CJ, Cross DT, Chicoine MR, Grubb RL, Rich KM, Dacey RG, Derdeyn CP, Zipfel GJ. Natural history of cranial dural arteriovenous fistulas: asymptomatic cortical venous drainage portends less aggressive clinical course. Neurosurgery. 2009 February; 64(2): 241-7.
    • Refai D, Dunn GP, Santiago P. Giant cell tumor of the thoracic spine: case report and review of the literature. J Surgical Neurology. 2009 February; 71(2):228-33; discussion 233.
    • Refai D, Botros J, Strom RG, Derdeyn CP, Sharma A, Zipfel GJ. Spontaneous isolated convexity subarachnoid hemorrhage: presentation, radiological findings, differential diagnosis, and clinical course. J Neurosurgery. 2008 December; 109(6): 1034-41.

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