Sanjay Dhall MD

Sanjay Dhall MD

Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery

Director, Spinal Neurotrauma, San Francisco General Hospital







Dr. Dhall is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and the Director of the Spinal Neurotrauma Program at San Francisco General Hospital. He specializes in complex spinal surgery for spinal trauma, degenerative disease, tumor and spinal deformity.

Before joining UCSF to lead the Spinal Cord Injury Clinical Research program, Dr. Dhall was the Chief of Neurosurgery for the Level 1 Trauma Center at Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Dhall is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He is a co-author on the widely utilized Guidelines for the Management of Acute Cervical Spine and Spinal Cord Injuries (published in 2013), as well the Guidelines for the Performance of Fusion Procedure for Degenerative Disease of the Lumbar Spine, which will be published in 2014.

Dr. Dhall’s work on cervical spinal cord injury guidelines was recently recognized by the United States Congress, and he received a Letter of Recognition signed by Congressmen representing home states of the authors.

Dr. Dhall has been a frequently invited guest on CNN, and has given expert commentary on brain and spinal injury in the news.


Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1991: BA, Johns Hopkins University
2002: MD, Baylor College of Medicine
2002-2003: Intern, General Surgery, Emory University
2003-2008: Resident, Neurosurgery, Emory University
2008: Fellow, Complex Spine, UCSF
2008-2009: Chief Resident, Neurosurgery, Emory University
2009-2013: Chief of Neurosurgery, Grady Health System
2009-2013: Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Emory University
2013-Present: Director of Spine Neurotrauma, UCSF

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

Georgia Neurosurgical Society
AANS/CNS Joint Section on Spine and Peripheral Nerve
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Fellow
California Association of Neurological Surgeons

Selected Honors & Awards

1996-1997: Dean’s List, The Johns Hopkins University
1996: UT Southwestern Medical Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
2002: Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship
2006: Best Resident Oral Abstract Submission Southern Medical Association
2008: 2nd Prize Depuy Spine Clinical Research Paper Challenge
2008-2009: Socioeconomic Fellow, Council of State Neurosurgical Societies
2012: Woodruff Leadership Academy Fellow, Emory University
2012: Clinical Trials Proposal Award, AANS/CNS Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves

Selected Recent Publications

Dhall SS, Sribnick EA. Significant neurologic recovery after traumatic cervical spondyloptosis and spinal cord injury. Spine J 2014;14(1):194-5.

Walters BC, Hadley MN, Hurlbert RJ, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Harrigan MR, Rozelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N. Guidelines for the management of acute cervical spine and spinal cord injuries: 2013 update. Neurosurgery 2013;60 Suppl 1:82-91.

Dhall SS, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC. Nutritional support after spinal cord injury. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:255-9.

Dhall SS, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC. Deep venous thrombosis and thromboembolism in patients with cervical spinal cord injuries. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:244-54.

Harrigan MR, Hadley MN, Dhall SS, Walters BC, Aarabi B, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N. Management of vertebral artery injuries following non-penetrating cervical trauma. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:234-43.

Rozzelle CJ, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC, Hadley MN. Spinal cord injury without radiographic abnormality (SCIWORA). Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:227-33.

Rozzelle CJ, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC, Hadley MN. Management of pediatric cervical spine and spinal cord injuries. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:205-26.

Aarabi B, Hadley MN, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC. Management of acute traumatic central cord syndrome (ATCCS). Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:195-204.

Gelb DE, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC, Hadley MN. Treatment of subaxial cervical spinal injuries. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:187-94.

Aarabi B, Walters BC, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Hadley MN. Subaxial cervical spine injury classification systems. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:170-86.

Rozzelle CJ, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC, Hadley MN. Os odontoideum. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:159-69.

Ryken TC, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Theodore N, Walters BC. Management of acute combination fractures of the atlas and axis in adults. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:151-8.

Ryken TC, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Theodore N, Walters BC. Management of isolated fractures of the axis in adults. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:132-50.

Ryken TC, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Theodore N, Walters BC, Hadley MN. Management of isolated fractures of the atlas in adults. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:127-31.

Theodore N, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Walters BC, Hadley MN. The diagnosis and management of traumatic atlanto-occipital dislocation injuries. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:114-26.

Theodore N, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Walters BC, Hadley MN. Occipital condyle fractures. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:106-13.

Hurlbert RJ, Hadley MN, Walters BC, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N. Pharmacological therapy for acute spinal cord injury. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:93-105.

Ryken TC, Hurlbert RJ, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Rozzelle CJ, Theodore N, Walters BC. The acute cardiopulmonary management of patients with cervical spinal cord injuries. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:84-92.

Gelb DE, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N, Walters BC. Initial closed reduction of cervical spinal fracture-dislocation injuries. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:73-83.

Ryken TC, Hadley MN, Walters BC, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Theodore N. Radiographic assessment. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:54-72.

Hadley MN, Walters BC, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Theodore N. Clinical assessment following acute cervical spinal cord injury. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:40-53.

Theodore N, Hadley MN, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Walters BC. Prehospital cervical spinal immobilization after trauma. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:22-34.

Theodore N, Aarabi B, Dhall SS, Gelb DE, Hurlbert RJ, Rozzelle CJ, Ryken TC, Walters BC, Hadley MN. Transportation of patients with acute traumatic cervical spine injuries. Neurosurgery 2013;72 Suppl 2:35-9.

Howard BM, Sribnick EA, Dhall SS. Complete neurologic recovery of spinal cord injury after posterior transpedicular reconstruction for traumatic lumbar burst fracture. Spine J 2013;13(2):204-5.

Highsmith JM, Dhall SS, Haid RW Jr, Rodts GE Jr, Mummaneni PV. Treatment of cervical stenotic myelopathy: a cost and outcome comparison of laminoplasty versus laminectomy and lateral mass fusion. J Neurosurg Spine 2011;14(5):619-25.

Lu DC, Dhall SS, Mummaneni PV. The transspinous mini-open approach for resection of intradural spinal neoplasms: cadaveric feasibility study and report of 3 clinical cases. World Neurosurg. 2010;74(1):195-9.

Dhall SS, Mummaneni PV. Re: cervical kyphotic deformity correction using 360-degree reconstruction. J Spinal Disord Tech 2010;23(3):221.

Mummaneni PV, Lu DC, Dhall SS, Mummaneni VP, Chou D. C1 lateral mass fixation: a comparison of constructs. Neurosurgery 2010;66(3 Suppl):153-60.